John Greer, head of maintenance at the Marshall County Jail updated the County Commissioners on a few of the more important projects that have been completed at the jail and discussed the possibility of developing a long-term plan to handle larger projects. 

Greer told the commissioners they replaced the obsolete main fire panel module and the defective annunciator panel at the public entrance has been replaced.  This tells the fire department where the fire is in the building.  Keeping with the fire theme Greer said they removed the fire sprinklers and piping over the server room and the evidence room was replaced with a dry system. The voltage regulator for the emergency generator failed and was replaced and they have their own backup regulator.  Lights were replaced with LED lights in the walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer. He said the water softener system has been replaced and plumbed correctly and two mixing valves in the boiler room and kitchen/laundry areas have been replaced. 

One of the largest expenses has been the cracked main water heater that provides hot water for the kitchen, laundry, and booking area has been replaced.  The new system is a 2-boiler, 3-tank system which is more efficient and reliable than the old one.  There are 3 of the larger water heaters in the jail facility and three small ones. 

The issues with the parts supply chain and the extreme rising costs Greer discussed developing a long-term plan that would budget some of the higher cost items over the next several years.  He presented two proposals for water heater replacements and a proposal to replace the 6-rooftop heating and AC units that haven’t been updated since the jail was built in 2007.  4-rooftop units have already been replaced. 

The prices range from nearly $100,000 to almost $170,00 for the water heaters and a grand total of $480,000 for the rooftop heating and AC units. 

Greer said, “These prices reflect a need for a long-term, multi-year plan as part of a proactive and not a reactive approach to jail maintenance.  The commissioner’s building maintenance and the Sheriff’s budget display a need to work together.” 

Greer told the commissioners, “I don’t want to come to you guys and say I need a half-million dollars to fix the jail up. I think that is irresponsible.  I think we need to develop a broader plan, maybe a 4–5-year plan on some of these higher ticket items.”

Commissioner Stan Klotz said, “With what we are facing, I think we need to be aggressive, as possible in getting these things taken care of in the next year or two.  I don’t see prices coming down and things getting better.” 

Commissioner Mike Burroughs said, “I think while we are fixing it, we fix it right for the long term.”

The commissioners took no action at Monday’s meeting but decided to address the concerns at their May 16th meeting.