The Harlan County Fiscal Court voted not to join together with Bell and Knox counties to build a detention center that would house prisoners from all three counties.
After looking at the costs and logistics involved with having Harlan County's prisoners housed in a facility in Bell County, the fiscal court decided it is not the best option for Harlan. Instead, the fiscal court decided Harlan County should look into building its own new detention center.
"The big discussion that we've heard was the transportation costs and the distance our employees would have to travel to work at that new jail in Bell County," Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop said.
It was estimated that the actual building costs for Harlan County would be approximately $10 million, but the members of the fiscal court were also concerned with the costs of transporting prisoners to the facility, transporting them back and forth to court hearings and the fact that a holding facility would probably still have to be used in Harlan County.
Grieshop said he knew of a jail that serves Wolfe, Lee and Owsley counties that was recently built that he would like to look at as a possible model for a new facility here in Harlan.
"There's one built that we would like to look at a 154-bed jail. ... That would be the size we would need from all estimations," Grieshop said. "The price tag on a jail that size would be somewhere around $5 million."
Engineer Leo Miller said the current jail cost approximately $7 million when it was built.
In other business, the fiscal court:
n voted to approve the Just Compensation Order for voluntary acquisition of properties in the Fourth and Fifth magisterial districts that were severely damaged by a flood two years ago. The properties were deemed to be in the flood way, rather than in the flood plain. They also authorized Grieshop to sign any and all documents and sign the contract with Will Linder & Associates.
n heard an update on the SWAP (Sharing With Appalachian People) program from Randy Coblentz. He said the organization brought in 39 groups from all over North America, put over $100,000 into the local economy and worked on 41 homes in Harlan County last year.
n accepted the Statement of Receipts, Disbursement and Excess Fees for 2003 from the Sheriff's Department.
n approved the appointments of Mark Ford and the Rev. Luke Day to the Harlan County Public Library Board of Trustees for terms to expire Dec. 30, 2007.
n voted to advertise for bids on road materials (steel rebar, gabion baskets and culvert tile), white beach sand and asphalt.
n approved the nominations of Roger Fannon, Donna Pace and Gladys Hoskins to the Cumberland Valley Area Development District.
n voted to write a letter to all customers who are not current on their garbage dumping fees, giving them 30 days to pay half their bill, then another 90 days at 10 percent interest to pay the remaining balance. Customers will also be required to keep current on dumping bills as they pay their debts. If they fail to do so, they will be stopped from using the transfer station.