The addition to the police station was the main topic of discussion at the Jefferson Township council meeting on Wednesday.
The project has a current cost of $2,382,000, which includes construction, lockers, floors, and furniture for the upgrade. Of that cost, $1,952,000 is for construction. The council currently has $750,000 bonded for the project from 2018.
The cost of the addition came in higher than anticipated,” said township administrator Deb Millikin. “We will have a bond coming in for approval in January for the remainder of the costs.”
Millikin said that the price of wood and sheetrock has gone up because of Covid.
In addition, Police Chief Paul Castimore has met with Department of Corrections regarding the township’s jail cells. The current cells have bars, which are no longer acceptable; however, the township has received exemptions for the cells, which is set to expire in 2021.
“The cells can’t have bars any longer, because there can’t be anything available that a prisoner could tie something to in order to take their own life,” he said.
The new cells will have sliding doors with small holes in them. There will also be one cell that is compliant with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“We will have to do the jail cells as a capital project to get the new doors,” Castimore said.
The new doors should cost between $200,000 and $300,000. The project will need to be completed by August 2022.
Castimore further noted that porcelain fixtures were removed from the cells and new light bulbs were installed to make the cells brighter.
In other news, Mayor Eric Wilsusen announced that the election results had been certified. He congratulated current council members Bob Birmingham and Jay Dunham on their reelection and welcomed H. Ronald Smith back to the council. The three will be sworn in at January’s reorganization meeting.
Wilsusen also said that COVID numbers are going up in town, with nearly 550 cases as of December 3.
“The second phase is definitely here,” Wilsusen said. “I urge all residents to do their due diligence.”
Finally, the recycling department will be sending out fliers to all residents regarding new recycling schedule for when the township returns to separate stream recycling after the new year.