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Commission approves contract for jail architect

The Pike County Commission finalized and approved a contract with JM&H Architecture Tuesday to begin the design process on a new Pike County Jail.

The county will pay the firm $1.242 million to the architects to design the new facility.

“This has taken a long time to get to this point,” said Commissioner Chad Copeland, District 4. “We appreciate TCU Consulting Services, McKenzie Wilson and all the groups in the county for doing this work.”

The starting budget for the jail facility is set at $23 million. The architects will now have 10 to 12 months to design the facility, at which point the process would turn toward construction.

Copeland said this agreement is rare in that the $1.242 million is a lump sum payment to the architect and not a percentage of the jail cost, so this price is locked in. As of July, the county had already raised more than $7 million through a temporary sales tax to fund the construction of a jail, including the payment of a consultant and an architect.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved the disposal of surplus property at the EMA

• Approved $2,500 in funds to the Pike Animal Shelter

• Approved advertising for personnel in the probate office

• Reappointed Robin Sullivan as chairman and Russell Johnson as vice chairman

• Canceled the November meeting scheduled for the Monday of Thanksgiving week