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County talks new jail

The Pike County Commission heard from local USDA representatives on Monday about a potential financing program for the Pike County Jail.

Allen Bowen and Landra Siegfried told the commissioners about the USDA’s community facilities loan and grant program that could potentially provide the commission with a way to finance the construction of a new jail.

“This program provides financing for essential facilities in rural areas,” Siegfried said.

Siegfried said that jails fall under the facilities that the program could cover. The loan, she said, could be paid over 40 years with a fixed interest rate once the commission sets the project up with the program. The current interest rate would be 2.375 percent.

The next step toward possibly working with the program would be to confirm with the USDA that the project is financially feasible.

Bowen added that partnerships are welcomed with the program, so that more than just the USDA could help to make the jail possible.

Commission chair Robin Sullivan said that the commission is still early in the process of making decisions about the jail.

The commission also heard from Probate Judge Wes Allen’s request to restructure his probate office to give additional responsibilities to a clerical position and change it to an from a 10-D to an 11-E on the pay scale.

Allen said that the purpose of the restructuring is to make the probate office more efficient and make better use of taxpayer money. The commission, minus District 1 Commissioner Homer Wright, unanimously approved the request.

The commission also unanimously approved the purchase of three dump trucks for the road department. The purchase was already outlined in the annual budget for the department and County Engineer Russell Oliver said that acting on it now would save the county from service interruptions.

Oliver also notified the commission that the project to repair the bridge on County Road 6650 is under review by FEMA and that it is not known when FEMA will approve plans.

The commission also unanimously approved the annual list of bank account for the county.

The next scheduled meeting of the Pike County Commission is Monday, December 12. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. The meetings are held upstairs in the Pike County Health Department located at South Franklin Drive.