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Jail feasibility study nearly complete

There is only one step remaining to complete a feasibility study that would determine how costly it would be to construct and operate a new Pike County Jail.

Ken Upchurch, cofounder of TCU Consulting Services, said the final piece of the puzzle is the completion of a classification and compensation study.

“We would be complete, but the individual working on the classification and compensation study has experienced some family health issues and the completion of his work is a prerequisite to our finishing the operational cost component of the jail feasibility study,” Upchurch said.

Otherwise, the study has been completed, Upchurch said, and once the last bit of data is collected, the firm will present their findings to the Pike County Commission.

“We have completed all work related to the jail feasibility study as it relates to the components of the jail and related infrastructure requirements,” Upchurch said. “We have developed cost models on the two capital investment solutions that we have identified.”

The commission is waiting on the firm’s report to hear the first cost estimate for a facility that would fit the county’s needs.

The commission will also have to hear what the expected operation costs will be as county officials have expressed concern about where funding will come from to run the jail once built.

The study will not likely be on the agenda for the commission’s meeting Monday, but could be ready by the Monday, Feb. 22 meeting.

“It has been a pleasure working with everyone in Pike County that has been involved with our work,” Upchurch said. “The Commission, Commission staff, the Sherriff and all of the law enforcement personnel have been very generous with their time and very prompt in their responses to our data requests and operational questions.”

The county has already collected over $1 million in sales tax revenue from a temporary tax to fund he jail’s construction. County officials estimated a jail could cost around $8 million.