Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Ripley FFA off to a busy start this year Ripley River Village Christmas adds new events Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Prints available of Eagle Creek Bridge, by local artist Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Ripley McDonalds robbed overnight Familiar pizzeria in Ripley has new owners Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia Broncos buck Clinton-Massie, Goshen James H Boyd Warren A Stanley Jane R Ernst Darrell F Anderson James W Ball Jr June R Paul Robert Kattine Tony W Ratliff Carroll G Boothby Ripley Council addresses roof replacement and paving projects Beasley Farm to remain agricultural forever Janet R Whitt Jacqualine Attinger L Mae Spencer Battle between Broncos, G-Men ends in tie SB Warriors rout Peebles, 60-0 Lady Jays celebrate first victory Lady Rockets on a roll Rockets cruise to 4-0 Broncos celebrate homecoming Sininger wraps up another outstanding regular season of high school golf Joan E Stevens Esther R Kennedy Myrtle Mays Ripley artist to exhibit her works Ripley Police sponsor ‘Night Out in the Park’ Every BIRDY welcome at fish fry Have breakfast with RULH Superintendent Sept. 21 G-Men win streak hits 5 Runners compete at Vern Hawkins XC Invite Lady G-Men stand at 3-2-2 SHAC play begins for Ripley golfers Week 3 football roundup Jays rise to 5-2 with win over Williamsburg Audrey F Staten Rural Heritage Quilt Show winners RULH Elementary first graders take on new technology 2017 DAR Charity Golf Scramble St. Michael students visit “Living Lands and Waters” RULH High School reaches out to those in need Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Buildings demolished, Village waits to be paid Ohio Rural Heritage Festival celebrated Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Preparation begins for Ripley River Village Christmas celebration 3rd Annual Job Fair sponsored by Open Arms*****Always helps Veterans and others

Commissioners have letter of intent for jail repairs

GEORGETOWN – While the jail remains closed, The Brown County Commissioners announced this week they are prepared to accept a bid for a major overhaul of the jail doors from Willo Products, an Alabama based company.

“We have reviewed five proposals and the one proposal we have accepted is Willo Products,” Commissioner Barry Woodruff said. “They will have an engineering group here [Tuesday, Dec. 15] and begin final measurements and do all the things they need to do to get it back to their manufacturing plant. We’re hoping they will start shortly after the first of the year with a target date of a retrofitted jail door situation about April 1, 2016.”

With the Brown County Adult Detention Center currently closed, the Commissioners were forced to send inmates out of the county, to Butler County, at the cost of $117,000 for the the month of November.

The jail maintenance problem had been a long-standing issue in the county over the last 30 years. According to the Commissioners, parts became more and more difficult to get to replace and often times had to be fabricated in order to keep the jail doors closed and operational.

“This probably should have been done a number of years ago,” Woodruff said. “We should have closed it down and tried to retrofit back then. We have relined sewer lines under the jail after they collapsed. After that, we put in a new phone system and it got flooded. We have had nothing but a nightmare. We will probably spend over $300,000 this year not including the doors, to try to keep the thing going.”

However, a lack of communication from the Sheriff’s Office and the County Commissioners might be to blame for the escalated situation of maintaining the jail. In November of 2013, former Chief Deputy John Schadle sent the County Commissioners an estimate for cost of repair to the jail in order to get the doors functional. The Commissioners requested more bids to come in and then later decide on who should be awarded the bid – no other bids were sought at that time.

“That estimate was looked at and got the message back that is not how you bid county work, you don’t go off one estimate,” Woodruff said. “We needed to get more and it never came. The other side of the coin is we’re the one who should be asking for the estimate not the Sheriff. So we continued with the same folks who had been working on these jail doors for 30 years, but the problem we ran into recently, we literally started had to manufacturing parts in a machine shop.”

However, the problem was not fully understood by the Commissioners because of the lack of communication between their office and the Sheriff’s Department. According to the Commissioners, they believed the best course of action was to continue to maintain what was in place as it had been for 30 years. While it was known to the commissioners the jail was in need of repairs, a complete and total overhaul would have forced the jail’s closure and required the inmates to be transferred in order to get the necessary repairs done.

“We probably spent more than $80,000 on door repair this year, not including all the other things we have done,” Woodruff said. “We simply ran out of options and started the process of contacting other companies other than Willo and four of them literally came to the site and sent us a proposal.”

The decision to repair the jail had been made prior to the grievance filed by corrections officer Dana McGuffey on Oct. 22 about the problems with the jail door not functioning, either by coming unlocking or simply being about to open up. The grievance was the first form of communication ever sent to the Commissioners about the unsafe working conditions of the Brown County Adult Detention Center.

“The blame stops right here,” Woodruff said. “We not sugar coating, were not blaming former commissioners, the blame me, I don’t have any problem with that. Once we realized we weren’t making any headway, we shut it down. That was the correct decision to make. When that young lady filed that grievance, we respect her opinion, we respect her position back there everyday. We instantly said to the Chief Deputy, what do we need to do to start the process to get them out of there.”

The Sheriff’s Department confirmed the Commissioners had brought in at least two of the companies who made bids on the work prior to October 22 and ulitmately the closure of the jail.

Even with repairs set to start on the jail after the first of the year, the bigger problem of not having a large enough space still looms of Brown County. The jail is equipped to handle 38 inmates and at any given times was housing 80 or more inmates. The Commissioners said even with the overhaul, inmates will still have to be held out of county to accommodate for space and need.

While the Brown County Adult Detention Center remains closed, the Commissioners hope for April reopening the Brown County Adult Detention Center remains closed, the Commissioners hope for April reopening

By Brian Durham

Reach Brian Durham at 937-378-6161 or on Twitter @brianD1738

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