County implements T-CAP

Published 9:07 am Friday, September 8, 2017

Bid approved to fix jail wall damaged by sinkhole

Lawrence County Commission approved to implement the Targeting Community Alternatives to Prison (T-CAP) program at its meeting Thursday, which is something Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard has been promoting.

T-CAP grant money was awarded to Ohio counties to effectively supervise, treat and hold accountable low-level, non-violent offenders, and at the same time, safely reduce Ohio’s prison population. Lawrence County applied for grant funds earlier this year, and received $452,511, which will be received in three payments totaling $203,630 in fiscal year 2018 and four payments totaling $248,881 during fiscal year 2019.

The target population of the T-CAP program associated with the grant is fifth-degree non-violent, non-sex and/or non-aggravated trafficking offenders who also do not have previous felony records. Those eligible are able to go to jail instead of state prison for their crimes.

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Ballard said this will affect hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Lawrence County, but that it would also increase the county jail population if people chose jail time over treatment for an extended period of time.

The T-CAP program will become mandatory statewide beginning in July next year. However, the state’s five biggest counties were required to begin the program already, with the other 83 counties having the option to start early.

With Lawrence County agreeing to implement the program, Ballard said the first payment could arrive to the county by the end of September given that fiscal year 2018 has already begun.

Commission and Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless also met in executive session regarding real estate, which followed with commission approving a bid of $56,000 from Marco Concrete Lifting to fix issues with the jail from the sinkhole that’s developing behind it.

The project includes installing 40 steel push piers driven to refusal to attempt to lift the jail pin off for support and to stop vertical movement.

Lawless said that the structure is in pretty bad shape, and work needed to be done as soon as possible.

A $6,000 deposit would initially be put down, with $15,000 being drawn about halfway through the project, leaving a balance of $35,000 to be paid upon completion.

Prior to Marco beginning the project, the city of Ironton will have to dig the area to determine the sewer lines that would be affected, but the project would begin shortly after that and will take three and a half to four weeks to complete once Marco begins.

Representatives from the ADAMHS Board were in attendance at the meeting as well, talking about September being suicide prevention month.

The ADAMHS Board also has a levy on the November ballot that would fund for addiction treatment and mental health services in Adams, Lawrence and Scioto counties, which ties into suicide prevention.

Commission proclaimed the week of Sept. 17 to Sept. 30, 2017, Suicide Prevention Awareness Week in Lawrence County, and Commission President Bill Pratt read some suicide stats including that one person in the United States dies by suicide every 11.9 minutes, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds in Lawrence County and that each person who dies by suicide intimately affects at least six other people.

In other action, commission:

• Approved the weekly Dog Warden Report.

• Approved one floodplain permit.

• Approved three transfer funds.

• Approved and signed the Demand Response revenue proposal for the Union Rome Sewer (URS) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) from Aspen Energy. The five-year payout will be around $45,000 approved by the Lawrence County prosecutor.

• Approved the updated PRC plan for the biennial year Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2019, approved by the Lawrence County prosecutor.

• Received and filed the detailed summary of all convictions between July 2016 and July 2017 in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Lawrence County Municipal Court and Ironton Municipal Court.

• Approved and signed the Participation Agreement between the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Conference Welfare Fund (Teamsters Local Union No. 92), approved by the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office.

• Met with Lawrence County Dog Warden Bill Click regarding personnel; hire, fire reprimand. No action was taken.