Jail commission approves project funding


MECHANICSBURG – The Tri-County Corrections Commission approved funding for two projects in the facility during its regular meeting last week.

During the April 30 meeting, Tri-County Regional Jail Executive Director Scott Springhetti spoke about problems such as leakage to the jail’s roof and the need to fix a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit in the kitchen area.

Following up on the roof project, Springhetti and Greg Gossard, the jail’s maintenance manager, spoke with the commission regarding the development and negotiations of a project with the Garland Company. The proposed project would entail removing and repairing areas of the roof that need to be repaired while an additional layer would be placed on top of the old roof.

The board approved a motion for Springhetti to enter into an agreement for the project at a cost of no more than $418,000. The funding for the project would be taken out of 2013 and 2014 carry over funds.

Regarding the HVAC project, Springhetti previously said the system was not keeping a constant temperature. Updating the commission on the project, Springhetti said the jail would qualify for The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN).

He explained if the commission allowed the jail to be placed in this program, they would work with their contractors who would work with TCPN-approved vendors to complete the project.

“If we tried to competitively bid this on our own, we would potentially be spending $20 to $30,000 in engineering and design just to have prints drawn up for a replacement system,” Springhetti said.

The commission authorized Springhetti to enter into a contract with TCPN and authorized him to enter into an agreement for the HVAC project at a cost of no more than $100,100. Funding would be taken out of 2014 carryover funds.

Following an executive session, the commission approved a collective bargaining agreement between the jail and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

Springhetti said most of the changes in the three-year agreement involve language clarification updated to match current practices.

As part of the agreement, the number of compensatory hours an officer can accrue increased from 24 hours to 32 hours. A 2.5 percent wage increase over the current wage scale was also included which will increase each year of the agreement.

Other action taken by the commission included approving the 2016 budget.

Springhetti said the jail submitted a draft of the budget to the Champaign County Auditor’s Office in June after asking the commission for a continuation budget in the amount of $4,075,634, during the April 30 meeting.

A revision to the budget made following the previous meeting equated to the budget being $1 more than what Springhetti previously presented. He explained this revision was made due to a change in workers’ compensation payments.

Jail population

Champaign County accounted for 39 of the total 154 inmates in the jail’s population on June 25. This included 30 male inmates and nine female inmates.

Union County accounted for 63 total inmates while Madison County has 52 inmates in custody.

Champaign County also accounted for 12 of the 16 inmates on electronic monitoring while Madison County had four.

Through June 25, the jail’s average population so far has been 111 males, 34 females and 145 total inmates.

Springhetti also informed the commission of an upcoming inspection from the Bureau of Adult Detention and how it ties in with the jail’s population. While no had been given for when the annual inspection would occur, Springhetti said assistant jail director Drew Hildebrand is preparing files necessary for inspection.

An area of focus for the jail in achieving compliance is overcrowding bunks. Springhetti said the jail could remove those bunks and achieve a higher standard, but this could lead to housing inmates in other facilities as the female population is dictating how a housing unit is used.

“Right now the way the jail is designed the population calls for 24 females,” Springhetti said. “We have the one unit we convert to female housing allowing us to have 36 beds. There’s been 64 days this year where we’ve had more than 36 female inmates.”

Springhetti added when using the unit for female inmates, this decreases the number of beds for the male population by 12 beds.

Regarding some of the other inspection standards, Springhetti said the jail is confident of being in compliance on essential standards. The jail will be notified 30 days prior to the inspection.