Grindstaff: ‘Something is going to have to be done with the jail’

Published 9:25 am Friday, May 6, 2022

A $9.5 million jail renovation will have to be addressed soon.
That according to Building and Grounds Vice Chair District 4 Commissioner Isaiah Grindstaff who said that “something is going to have to be done.”
“I believe that we need to get Shaw and Shanks architects to provide an update on the cost of the project to see how it’s changed,” said Grindstaff. “We also will need to check with the new sheriff coming in to see if he still wants to be on the second floor and if he even wants to proceed.”
The new sheriff will be either Mike Fraley or Rocky Croy depending on the outcome of the August 4 general election.
Black mold in the older section of the jail is spreading toward the offices. A judge has raised concerns about the mold to Mayor Patty Woodby.
Also, officials must decide what to do with all the county records that are stored at the Workforce Development and will have to find a new home soon.
A new county archive is part of the jail renovation plan. The archives will move into an area currently occupied by the sheriff’s department, which will move offices to the second floor.
“The school system is currently getting their records out of the Workforce Development and moving them,” said Woodby. “We have a lot of records stored up there and the officeholders are going to have to get together and decide which ones can be destroyed and move those they are wanting to keep.”
The committee also discussed the finance department remodel project. The committee appropriated $321,000 but the lowest bid that came was more than $440,000. The committee discussed using funds from the CTE project at the Workforce Development Center, which is now being funded by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
After discussion, the committee voted to send the project to the budget committee for further approval.
District 7 Commissioner Aaron Frazier said the Gap Creek dog park will soon be under construction with concrete being poured and fencing put in place. A gazebo has received approval and the concrete pad for the park’s pavilion soon should be poured.
Frazier also said the equipment for the accessible playground will cost between $500,000 and $1.5 million, and the softball field construction along with the concession stand will approach $750,000.
Woodby told the committee that the lease on the rehabilitation facility at the Roan Mountain prison location should be signed soon. The facility should be operational by the first of 2023.
Chris Schuettler provided an update on the metal roof for the planning office as he said, “the roof should be completed by the end of the month.”

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