Jail repairs approved

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Pike County Jail will soon undergo stabilization measures to sustain the jail until the Pike County Commission can make plans for a new jail.

The commission unanimously approved the temporary fix on Monday after agreeing with architect Patrick Addison of the architectural firm PH&J to split a proposed two-phase contract into two separate contracts.

The first phase dealt with the removal of the jail’s parapet as well as the stabilization of the walls. The second phase dealt with the design, negotiation and construction of a new jail.

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The commissioners explained that there will be new commissioners in November that need to weigh the options and that more time is needed before making a commitment.

“We’re nowhere near ready to move on this,” said Commissioner Robin Sullivan. “This affects more than just the Pike County Commission. We need to talk with others in the community before we move forward.”

“The big question is ‘Where are we going to secure these funds?”’ said Chairman Joey Jackson.

Addison said that the temporary fix to the jail could be started on immediately and should go “pretty quickly” once the plan is finalized.

The maximum architect fee for the project is $8,000.

The temporary solution is not what was originally suggested to the commission, which was to remove the “whole skin” of the building, but to only remove the parapet and taking measures to stabilize the bricks.

Addison said that the parapets are the major safety hazard. “Those parapets are pretty scary,” he said.

The commission also unanimously approved for Eddie Culpepper of EnCompass360 to manage the Meeksville shelter project and the application for a FEMA grant for the project.

Culpepper explained that the shelter being proposed would be made of concrete and can serve as both a storm shelter and a building for meetings, trainings and other events.

The grant from FEMA would fund 75 percent of the project with the county providing a 25 percent match, which includes the possibility of paying in in-kind services.

The project, which is estimated to cost up to $250,000, raised a question from Commissioner Jimmy Barron, who noted that the money required to meet the 25 percent match was not included in the budget that was passed on September 12.

Culpepper explained that the only money that would affect this year’s budget is $8,000, which is also eligible for FEMA funds.

The Meeksville Fire Department could donate up to one acre of land for the shelter, which would be considered an in-kind service by FEMA according to Culpepper.

The commission also approved the hazard mitigation plan for the year.

The commission will not meet on October 10 due to Columbus Day. The next scheduled meeting of the Pike Count Commission is on October 24. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the meeting will start at 6 p.m.