Commission finds partner for jail feasibility study

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Pike County Commission has finally selected a third party provider to conduct a jail feasibility study to determine how to get the most out of their money on a new jail.

Ken Upchurch of TCU Consulting Services met with the commission Monday and gave the commission a price of $109,500 for the study, phase one of three offered by the firm.

“I feel completely comfortable with this,” said Russell Johnson, District 6. Johnson has been the main contact for TCU as the jail committee worked to bring in a third party for the study. “This covers the worries of how to handle operational aspects that we know are going to be finite. I feel like I don’t have the expertise to sit here and make a comment on some of those things.”

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“You aren’t supposed to know all the right questions to ask,” Upchurch said. “This covers what we need to do to have ability to answer the questions you need to make a decision.”

Upchurch said the study will likely take around three months, with five months being the most it will take to get the data gathered and analyzed.

Through phase one, TCU will collect data regarding programming and operation of a new facility, develop a master program budget, a detailed master schedule, hold public meetings and more.

The commission also approved a resolution for ALDOT to let bridge repair on County Road 6618.

While discussing the repair, commissioners also brought up the resurfacing project for the road, which is delayed until 2019 because ALDOT will not consider the project until the bridge is fixed.

Commissioners suggested that resurfacing funds go to County Road 2290 instead for 2018 so that a road is being resurfaced while the other road project is stalled. On the department’s priority list of major collector roads, CR6618 is first and CR2290 is second.

Johnson, however, suggested that coming back to CR6618 made sense because it can’t be done yet anyway and CR2290 actually has more traffic.¬¬

The commission also contracted out mowing to Roadside Inc. for $85,000.

Chad Copeland, District 4, was appointed by the other commissioners to serve on the legislative committee of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.

“I think it’s important that we have a voice on the legislative committee,” Copeland said. “I think one of the problems we had was that we didn’t have a voice on that committee.”

The commission will meet again Monday, August 28 at 3 p.m. for their second round of budget hearings, followed by a work session at 5:15 p.m. and business meeting at 6 p.m. All meetings will take place upstairs at the Pike County Health Department.