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Title: Jail Problems Discussed, Again
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Members of the Warren County Council were updated on the most recent testing of the air at the new Warren County Jail, Monday, July 25 during their regular meeting.

Commissioner Randy Brenner told the Council that the Indiana State Department of Health had done testing at the jail last Thursday and Friday, July 21st and 22nd. He said OSHA was also present.

Although no written report was available as of yet, several recommendations were made. Brenner said he was informed that the ventilation system is still not working properly everywhere in the building and temperatures can vary as much as 12 degrees depending on the location. Brenner also reported that he was told because it is so air-tight in the control room there is a borderline level of carbon dioxide. It was also discovered that all three shifts of employees had been using a concentrated cleaner in the control room and that the air was then being recirculated. It was recommended that an exhaust fan be installed in the control room to move the air more quickly. The health department also said the toilet in the control room (which cannot be removed by regulation) should be enclosed.

Brenner said the state board of health is expected to be present at the next Commissioners' meeting on Monday, August 1. It was further recommended that jail employees not be allowed back into the building until all the work is completed by workmen in the building. Workmen are still finishing several items in the jail, Brenner said. In fact, one of the workmen was painting inside the building while the air testing was being conducted. Brenner said he was also told that these problems are not unusual with new buildings.

Brenner told the Council that the work necessary to correct these problems should not cost the county anything unless something had to be redesigned to allow for the exhaust fan that is to be installed.

Councilman David Dalton responded to Brenner's last statement by saying that he would not vote to pay one more penny for any of the corrective work to be done. "We paid big bucks for this jail. We hired the "jail builders of Indiana'. This is their fault and their responsibility," Dalton said. He stressed he did not blame the Commissioners of Sheriff for any of the problems that were discovered. "It's been a lot of extra work for you Commissioners that you shouldn't have had to do," Dalton added.

Council President Kick Dobbels suggested to Brenner that it was time for the county to go on the offensive instead of reacting defensively. "Maybe we should take the offensive and get some lawsuits of our own ready," Dobbels said.

Brenner assured the Council that the company who did not complete the work would be responsible for the expenses involved in correcting the problems with the jail, because they are bonded and insured.

In Other Business:

Dick Gillespie made a similar presentation to the Council as he made a few weeks earlier to the Commissioners about the purchase of Kickapoo Falls. Gillespie told the Council that the state is interested in purchasing the property and turning it over to the county to add to the Warren County Park system. He also said the state is currently working on grant applications that would pay most of the purchase cost, leaving only about $6,000 to $10,000 for Warren County to pay in matching funds. The Commissioners are in favor of the purchase, Gillespie said, if the cost doesn't go over $10,000. The Council members had no objections and voted unanimously for the purchase of the property to be pursued. Commissioner Brenner said the Commissioners would put the funds in their budget for the purchase.

The Council approved a request for an additional appropriation of $1,430 to be used to pay the new jail maintenance person. It was explained that Randy Wurtsbaugh had been hired to do a weekly maintenance check on the boiler, generator, and other items of equipment in the new jail. He is being trained by the companies that installed the equipment to do the maintenance.

The Council also approved two requests for funds to be designated from the Cumulative Bridge Fund, per Jack Sargent's request. $14,290 was designated for replacement of washed out bridges and $29,000 for railroad flatcar bridges.

The Council set the dates of August 29, 30, and 31 for the annual Council Budget Sessions. Due to a change in the law budgets can now be approved anytime after August 15.

Brenner asked the Council to carefully consider the Commissioners' recommendations about the EDIT and CAGIT taxes when the time came. The Commissioners hope to use some of those funds in recycling blacktop roads in the county that desperately needs it.

Brenner also explainded that the Commissioners had budgeted $50,000 in their budget for the new Extension building and hope to finance the rest over four years to insure the project will not raise taxes.

The next meeting of the Warren County Council will be Monday, August 29, when budget sessions will begin.

Date: 7/28/1994
Origin: Review Republican
Author: LeeAnne Akers, Editor
Record ID: 00001576
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Warren County Jail
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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