Jail report presentation rescheduled

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2018

County officials weren’t sure why Ken Upchurch, cofounder of TCU Consulting Services, did not show up Monday to present the findings from a jail feasibility and compensation and classification study the company conducted for the commission.

It turns out that Upchurch had simply written down the incorrect date for the presentation and was unaware that he was missing the meeting while working on another project in Huntsville. “I simply screwed up,” Upchurch said. “I put down the wrong date in my calendar.”

The commission has now forward the presentation to their next meeting, which will be held Monday, July 23 at the Pike County Health Department.

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The commission has been awaiting the results of the study as the third-party firm has crunched the numbers to determine what kind of facility Pike County will need to sustain the citizens for decades to come and where the building might be located.

The consultant firm has also conducted a classification and compensation study that will be presented at the meeting, which surveys information about the current positions, salaries and staffing related to the jail and what the county may need to offer moving forward.

The report was originally expected to be completed by February, but a family emergency of one of the employees led to a delay in the process, as well as the interviewing of stakeholders.

Upchurch has been scheduled to report at the previous two commission meetings but had to miss the first due to a business emergency. Now he says he is finally ready to share the complete report.

“We have a written report that’s very lengthy and very technical – we’re going to provide that to the commission Monday night,” Upchurch said. “We’re also going to do a PowerPoint presentation showing the highlights, findings, options – we’re going to lay it all out.”

Given the enormity of the study, Upchurch said there will be multiple commission meetings over the next few months for questions about the study. “It’s just way too much information to absorb on the night we give them,” Upchurch said. “It’s very detailed a lot of demographic information, crime statistic – the basis of the feasibility study – and there’s just as much on the compensation study.”

The presentation isn’t just for the commission, Upchurch said. Since the meeting is public and the report is a public document, members of the public are welcome to come to the meeting and watch the presentation.

Upchurch said he is also going to encourage the commission to put the full report online for public access.

Upchurch said this is still far from the deciding point on any action for the commission.

“We’re not making any recommendations; we’ve reached conclusions about various options but it is absolutely in their court to make decisions,” Upchurch said. “This typically takes some time and we usually see public meetings held … This is a big decision for Pike County so the process needs to have transparency.”

The meeting will begin with a work session upstairs at the Pike County Health Department at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, July 23. The business meeting will follow at 6 p.m.