Small step toward old jail facility solution? Council divides 4-3 on getting financial info PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:17

 

 

People crowded into the Courthouse on Wednesday morning, June 28, to attend the special joint meeting of the Scott County Council and Scott County Commissioners.

Most wanted to know what actions their officials would take over the question of what to do with the 1985 jail building. That was the proverbial “elephant in the room,” and most of the meeting’s three hours was absorbed by that subject.

By the time the meeting concluded, observers guessed the majority had received a good background about the jail as a whole and why two of the three Commissioners felt a project costing upwards of $5.4 million would at last solve Scott County’s problems revolving around the old jail.

Built in 1985, the jail building being used as administrative space and to house female prisoners predates the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and its myriad standards and the modern design of jails that eliminates much of the contact between those being jailed and their jailers. Persons must also figure in Indiana’s new criminal code as well. This code determined that those convicted of Level 6 felonies, and thus earn sentences of less than two years, will serve those sentences locally.

Consequently, many Indiana counties are now burdened by the number of people arrested, and Scott County is a prime example of what can happen. Scott County is ranked fifth in the state in the number of people arrested. Scott County is ranked no. 1 in the state in the numbers sent to state prisons. Instead of having 20 to 25 parolee/probationer cases, an ideal level, Scott County’s probation staff has upwards to 300 cases per staffer. Scott County’s two courts are doing the work of three courts in other counties.

Consider that the current jail, including its $11.4 million wing, handles from 155 to 191 prisoners. Indiana’s Department of Corrections considers any jail that is 80% full as having reached its capacity, so by that definition, Scott County’s jail is filled right now.

Add a 30-year-old poorly designed building that DLZ architect Eric Ratts described as in “fair to poor” in condition, and Scott County officials have got a monumental problem on their hands.

Commissioners decided June 7 by a 2-1 vote to request the County Council figure out a way to not renovate the old jail but tear it down completely and replace it with a well-functioning structure that can handle the 24-hours-a-day pace of dealing with people who don’t want to be there. The price tag is at least $5.4 million.

Ratts presented the DLZ plan to tear down the former Nazarene church and build a new facility for administrators, in-take of prisoners, eight holding cells, two padded cells and two detox cells. Note: The jail is the primary facility in the county for drug-users to “dry out” or detox. Additional cells will be included, 48 beds or more, depending on the design. Mix in those with mental health problems, too.

Are those beds needed? Definitely, said Ratts. “Your arrest numbers keep going up,” he pointed out.

A new salley port, much larger than the one-vehicle size offered now, will assist in staff and prisoner safety. A new main entrance is included as are administrative offices for the sheriff, officers and support staff. A new parking lot will be created.

With today’s construction trends, Ratts has estimated construction alone will be $4,5 million. Add another $1 million for the “soft” costs of fees, permits, legal advertising, financing, administration and the like. This is a similar price quoted by another architectural firm, RQAW, to renovate the current 1985 jail building. Advised Commissioner Bob Tobias, “To my way of thinking, it’s a no-brainer to think you can get a new building for what you’d put in an old one.”

Tobias and fellow Commissioner Kelley Robbins support the idea of the new jail building. Commissioner Mike Jones does not and he defended his stand at this meeting. Jones feels that “…you need to call companies and get quotes and tackle each problem the building has with the money you have…”

Jones began his job as Commissioner in January, long after the County Council had allotted $2 million and only $2 million for renovation of the jail. Eric Gillespie, an at-large County Councilman, agreed with Jones. “I don’t think you need to burden taxpayers. We’ve spent over $11 million on the jail wing. I’d think anyone could argue we’ve made an effort to solve the problem,” he said. The first jail project was funded through dollars from the Hospital Reserve Fund and on-going money raised each year through Jail COIT (County Optional Income Tax) funds. No property taxes are used for it, stressed County Councilwoman Iva Gasaway.

Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount got in on the conversation, saying alternative programs Commissioner Jones quoted which deal with individuals charged with non-violent crimes are attractive. “I’d love to have a conversation with you at another time about those programs, but we are dealing with our (current) problems. Our resources, our space, our rehabilitative problems,” Judge Mount reminded them.

Ratts threw another spanner in the works for everyone gathered to think about. “County jails are now the detox centers, and they are filled with people (awaiting sentencing). We want the drunk drivers and sexual predators in jail. Your officials don’t want to spend $5 million, but we need safe, secure jails, for the prisoners and for the people who work there. And what about the children that are being brought up in these home environments with users of opioids? Where will they all be in ten years?” he stated.

As the session drew to a close, comments were taken from the audience. Additionally, the Council had to decide what to do next. Though the conversation cleared up a lot of details, that daunting price tag had to be tackled.

The best way to do that, advised Council President Mike Zollman, is to get financial information. Consequently, on a motion to obtain financing knowledge made by Gasaway, the Council voted 4-3 to proceed with that step. Gillespie, his fellow Republican Chris Albertson and Democrat Donnie Richie cast the nay votes.

“Everyone thinks a project this size automatically means an increase (in taxes). Not necessarily. We haven’t decided if it can be funded yet. We can create a tax rate, but we don’t have to use it if there is other revenue we can use,” advised Gasaway.

Conferring with financial experts will give a clear picture of what the County Council – and taxpayers - could face.

All officials promised dealings will be done at public meetings. Councilwoman Gasaway also got a promise that the meeting of whether or not to go forward with the project would also be made at a meeting held at night. “And in a larger room so everyone can be seated,” she suggested.

That got a sweeping “yes” from the officials involved.

 

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Two Pursuits take Three Felons off the Streets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcus Amos   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:06

 

 

On Thursday, June 29, at around 2:15 pm, a trooper from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg began to initiate a traffic stop on a tan Nissan Altima on State Road #56 near Salem for a traffic violation. When the trooper got behind the tan Nissan Altima he noticed it matched the description of a vehicle that he had received information on a couple of days earlier that could be driven by or occupied by an escaped convict out of the state of Kentucky. As the trooper turned on his emergency lights the vehicle pulled into a driveway then it fled east on State Road #56.

As the trooper pursued the fleeing vehicle it traveled into Scott County and then turned south on Boatman Road in Scott County. Shortly after turning south on Boatman Road the driver of the vehicle pulled off of the road and the driver and female passenger fled into a wooded area. A perimeter was established by officers and shortly after this both of the subjects were taken into custody.

No one was injured and no vehicles were damaged during the pursuit.

Arrested #1-Driver and escapee from Kentucky, Anthony Ray White, 49, from Mt. Washington, KY. He was wanted from the state of Kentucky for Escape and his Indiana charges are Fleeing Law Enforcement.

Arrested #2-Passenger, Kelly Ann Dooley, 40, from Mt. Washington, KY. She was charged with Escape from the state of Kentucky and with Fleeing Law Enforcement in Indiana.

All information about both subjects Kentucky charges must be obtained from the Kentucky State Police.

Both subjects were incarcerated at the Scott County Jail awaiting their first court appearance in Indiana and extradition to Kentucky.

Later in day shortly after 5:00 pm, Louisville, KY Metro Police Department entered the state of Indiana pursuing a red Ford Ranger pickup truck in which the driver was wanted for Robbery. When the pursuit entered the state of Indiana the Louisville Metro Police Department requested the Indiana State Police assume the lead in the pursuit. The pursuit traveled from Interstate #64 onto Interstate #265 and then onto several city and county roads in and around New Albany before officers were able to set spike strips at the intersection of St. Joseph Road and State Road #111 in Floyd County. The driver of the red Ford Ranger ran over the spike strips and his tire deflated. The driver then drove into an open field on St Joseph Road where the pursuit came to a stop. After a short struggle, the driver was taken into custody.

Arrested-Robert G. Ellis, II, from Moorman Road in Louisville, KY. Contact Louisville, KY Metro Police Department for his charges in the state of Kentucky. His Indiana charge is Fleeing/Resisting Law Enforcement. He was transported to the Hospital in Floyd County by Floyd County EMS complaining of pain. Troopers are at the hospital awaiting his release so he can be transported to the Floyd County Jail.

This pursuit lasted approximately 30 minutes in the state of Indiana. During the pursuit in Indiana there were no serious injuries. No Indiana police cars were damaged however, contact the Louisville Metro Police Department to check for damage to their vehicles.

 
4-H Office Releases Schedule for 4-H Activities at the Scott County Fair PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 08:48

The Scott County 4-H Program has announced the following important dates and events for the Scott County Fair.

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City on a Hill to Host Back to School Clinic July 29 PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 00:00

City on a Hill Church in Scottsburg has partnered with coaches, local schools, the Health Department, and local Salons to offer a “Back to School” clinic on July 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clinic will meet school/state required health entrances like kindergarten physicals, immunizations, dental/vision screens and sport physicals. For the Kindergartener entering school in the fall, this is their one stop shop for all their entrance requirements!

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Helping others sparked Marvin McIntosh’s career in community ministry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 June 2017 15:15

 

 

A kind word, a welcome hand and a wonderful smile marked the long ministerial career of the Rev. Marvin Wayne McIntosh.

The Rev. McIntosh, 64, died on Monday, June 12, in Scottsburg after several years of failing health. But he never stopped smiling.

Marvin was a native of Booneville, Ky., and he operated several businesses during his career, but the call of the Lord was strong in his heart, and the Rev. McIntosh always relied on that strength. He was a member of the New Frankfort Pentecostal Church east of Austin for 46 years. For the past 26 years, he and wife Carmen pastored the church family and helped it grow.

The tiny church grew so much that it became well-known for its annual day-long hymn sings each spring and fall. Marvin enjoyed the folks, the food and certainly the music – his wife and daughter Lisa always performed and most often he chimed in as well. They eventually formed the Singing McIntoshes with daughter Tammy and sons Marty and Michael contributing. Their singing ministry led people to the altar and to a better faith.

Known to be handy with a hammer, Marvin never hesitated to help others with physical household issues as well as spiritual ones. He certainly wasn’t afraid of hard work and had operated Marvin McIntosh Construction for several years as well as Creative Mortgage Brokerage. He was a member of the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce, and his contributions to the community were recognized when he was nominated several years ago for a Mayor’s Good Neighbor Award.

His family and friends said farewell to this gentle servant of God at the service conducted in the church he served so faithfully on Friday morning, June 16. The Rev. Carlos Burdine and the Rev. Wayne Grace officiated. Burial was in Wesley Chapel Cemetery near Austin.

Staff of the Collins Funeral Home in Scottsburg was in charge of arrangements.

Memorial gifts may be arranged through the funeral home staff to assist the family. On-line condolences may be expressed to his loved ones by visiting www.collinsfubneralhome.net.

 

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