Hancock County approves $1.5 million to upgrade county jail

Hancock County approves $1.5 million to upgrade county jail
(Source: WTOL)

HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Hancock County voters turned down a sales tax to raise money to upgrade their county jail. Now, the county will have to borrow money to make mandated upgrades.

Earlier this week, Hancock County Commissioners approved to fund $1.26 million worth of repairs and upgrades at the Hancock County Jail. To pay for the work, the county will issue and sell $1.5 million in short term notes to be paid back at a later date.

The largest project will be replacing cell doors, but also tuck point brick work, roof repair and repainting, and work on the catwalk that connects the jail with the city municipal building, among other projects.

This work does nothing to alleviate the overcrowding problem in the jail, and some prisoners will still be transported to other nearby county jails in Putnam and Wood counties.

But County Commissioner Brian Robertson said the work has been put off for too long, and now needs to be done to keep the jail operational.

"The repairs are just the minimum things that we have to do to keep the jail in compliance, safe, and operational. And so it is necessary, unfortunately, that we have to borrow the money to go ahead and get these repairs done that, again, have been deferred maintenance items the last 10 or 20 years," said Robertson.

The upgrade and maintenance work is expected to be complete this calendar year.

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