Barren County Jail Update

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

The Barren County Jail is one step closer to renovations after a recent sewage problem.

The sewage overflow caused a lockdown at the jail and many inmates had to be transported to other counties.

The jail has been dealing with problems like this one for a while now.

During a Fiscal Court meeting Wednesday, April 4, 2007, the Jail Committee decided enough is enough. A motion was passed to get an estimate on what it would cost to completely remodel the jail.

A new jail would cost about $16 million to build and funding the construction could be difficult.

The Fiscal Court decided to do more research on remodeling the current facility before making a final decision.

"There was a motion made by the committee chairman to build a new 180 bed jail in Barren County and it got a second and during the discussion they decided that 180 might not be the optimum size to build," Barren County Jailer, Leland Cox said.

Cox said a new jail could be used for the next 30 years. Remodeling the current jail would only last half that time. Cox wants a new jail.

"I think the new jail would be most economical and the best solution," Cox said, but he is happy for any improvements.

"I've been here for four years. I know what kind of condition this jail is in," Cox said. "Even if we have to remodel we are not going to be able to touch every little thing in this jail without completely gutting it and starting over."

If the jail is renovated there's a possibility half the inmates will stay. The rest would be dispersed to other counties.

If a new jail is built all of the inmates will stay here until its complete.

"If something goes down then we'd have to move the inmates out because the state won't let us operate if the heating isn't working or ventilators aren't working, if the the sewer backs up for more than a few hours," Cox said.

Once the Fiscal Court is given an estimate on what renovations will cost, a decision will be made on which route to take.

"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that maybe we can do something positive that would relive some headaches and heartaches around here," Cox said.

Cox said whatever happens he just hopes it's soon.

Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer said the Fiscal Court will meet again April 18, 2007.

Greer said she hopes to have and present a renovation estimate by then.

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