County gives update on jail feasibility study

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Commissioner Russell Johnson said he had a productive meeting with a Troy University official last week about conducting a feasibility study for a new jail.

Johnson told the rest of the Pike County Commission Monday that he didn’t want to say anything more without having a sure answer yet, but said he believes the county is finally headed in the right direction on the study.

“He even brought up some recommendations we hadn’t considered,” Johnson said. “It was a very positive meeting.”

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The commission has been working for months to secure a third party to conduct the study, which would project necessary specifications a new jail would need in regards to financing, demographic growth, location and more.

The commission initially sent out a request fro proposals on the study, but Johnson said each entity interested would only do the study if they were guaranteed the construction of the facility.

Another potential partnership with an official at Auburn University also fizzled out last month, leaving the commission to turn to the hometown university.

In other business Monday, the commission– absent Homer Wright, District 1:

Voted unanimously to allow county engineer Russell Oliver to fix an automatic tank-gauging system at the county’s fuel station for an estimated cost of $8,500 that would be shared by multiple county departments.

Unanimously approved the hire of Byron Carter to a vacant appraiser’s position in the revenue office.

Voted unanimously to move the county “Back to School” sales tax holiday to align with the state’s change of the holiday, which reflects earlier school registration dates.

Unanimously declined to enter a maintenance contract on voting machines that are intended to help people with vision issues, citing high cost and low use in addition to cheaper for contracting on an as-needed basis.

The next meeting of the Pike County Commission will be Monday, May 22. The commission will meet upstairs at the Pike County Health Department at 5:15 p.m. for a work session and will begin the commission meeting at approximately 6 p.m.