Jail feasibility study officially begins

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

The jail feasibility study is officially underway after two months of other related work by provider TCU Consulting services.

“We have started on the detention facility feasibility study and actually had the first kickoff meeting today,” said Ken Upchurch, co-owner of the firm. “The Pike County staff has been very thorough and helpful in assisting us in gathering the data we need in a very timely manner. We met with the sheriff to brief him on the next steps of the process and to begin getting his input on his needs and wants for the new facility.”

The Pike County Commission searched for months to find a third party organization to furnish a feasibility study for the jail project so that the county could have an unbiased source of information on what kind of jail the count will need moving forward.

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Upchurch said the facility feasibility study will be completed some time in early January.

Upchurch said the focus of their work so far has been on the compensation and classification study, which analyzes all of the positions and salaries at the jail and compares it to the county’s stated positions and responsibilities as well as to other counties’ practices.

“We have been working on the classification and compensation track for the sworn officers and are nearing completion on that portion of the overall study,” Upchurch said. “This piece needed to be completed first because it impacts the development of the operational cost of the new detention facility model. We will start the balance of the classification and compensation study at the completion of the sworn officers portion, which I estimate will be within the next two weeks or so.”

TCU is also working on site assessments for where to place the new jail.

“That includes adjacency models, potential consolidation opportunities and other pertinent decision factors that are required to finalize the final program requirements of the new facility.”

The commission has mentioned several times that they want to consider whether combining different county agencies under one roof might produce cost savings in the long-term or provide better convenience to citizens and county departments.