Jail commission approves two projects

By Nick Walton - [email protected]

MECHANICSBURG – The Tri-County Correction Commission approved two projects last week during the first meeting of the year.

Discussing potential 2019 projects, jail Executive Director Scott Springhetti mentioned the jail’s water softener and jail management system.

Springhetti said the jail’s maintenance supervisor has been looking at quotes for a water softener system. He noted the jail has been operational since late 2000.

“What we’re seeing is the hard water is starting to affect the hot water pipes of the jail and it’s starting to close off because the water softener system is the same system that’s been here since day one,” Springhetti said.

Springhetti said the jail’s maintenance supervisor obtained three quotes to replace the system and the suggested company provided a quote of $27,518 to replace and upgrade the components of the system.

Regarding the jail management system, Springhetti said the current system was installed in 2006 and is antiquated.

“We are actually the only facility that that vendor has accounts with that is still using that system,” Springhetti said. “All of the other facilities they have contracts with have gone to a newer version of their system.”

Estimates the jail received for replacement systems ranged from $125,000 to $150,000 or more while upgrading with the current system provider was quoted at $74,850 for five years.

The combined cost of the two proposed projects would be $102,368 and Springhetti asked the board to fund these projects through unspent carryover funds.

Following some discussion, the board unanimously approved funding for these projects.

Budget report

Regarding the 2018 budget, Springhetti said the jail intended to carry over $114,589 in purchase orders. Prior to the end of last year, he said the Champaign County Auditor’s Office closed out these purchase orders.

After speaking with the county commission office, Springhetti said the auditor’s office determined they would increase the jail’s budget by moving funds from 2018’s budget to 2019’s budget.

Springhetti said the amount difference is $114,589.

“That doesn’t mean the counties have to come up with that much more money, that just means as opposed to having open purchase orders from 2018 that money has now been appropriated into the 2019 budget,” Springhetti said. “We kind of see that as a blessing and a curse – it goes against what we typically do and we’re still trying to work with Scott Campbell our accountant to figure out the best way to report and track those figures through the year.”

Jail population

Springhetti told the commission the average daily population in 2018 was 187 inmates with 142 males and 45 females.

During last year, the jail had 49 days with an inmate population of 200 or more with 213 inmates being the highest single day count. The lowest inmate count for a single day was 153 inmates.

As of Thursday morning, the jail’s population was 176 total inmates with 144 males and 32 females.

Champaign County had 37 inmates with 32 males and five females. Eighteen of the Champaign County inmates were from the common pleas court while 19 were from the municipal court.

Madison County had a total of 74 inmates with 62 males and 12 females.

Union County had a total of 65 inmates with 50 males and 15 females.

In other action:

•At the beginning of the meeting, the board elected officers for 2019. The board elected Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton as the commission chairman, Madison County Commissioner Mark Forrest as the vice chairman and Champaign County Sheriff Matt Melvin as the secretary.

•Springhetti said the 2019 per-diem rate for non-member jurisdictions was set at $67.99 per inmate per day. The member per-diem rate for overages is $45 per inmate per day.

By Nick Walton

[email protected]

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777.