Brown County jail expansion planned

Christy Howell-Hoots - [email protected]

GEORGETOWN, Ohio — A renovation project will expand the Brown County, Ohio jail, officials said.

Currently, the jail can hold 64 inmates, but once the expansion is complete, 104 inmates can be houses comfortably inside the building, according to Miranda Hanselman, assistant clerk of Brown County.

“This morning (Thursday) we had 81 inmates, so the space is much needed,” she said.

In addition to allowing for more inmates, the expansion will also include additional office space and renovations to current holding cells around the sally port.

The project is being completed by Endeavor Construction from Pleasant Plain, Ohio, according to Hanselman.

Hanselman said the project is estimated to cost $3.5 million and will be fully funded by the limited tax general obligation bond from the First State Bank and additional funding from county capital improvement.

The Brown County Jail has been through several ups and downs over the past few years. In 2015, the jail was closed by the Brown County Commissioners due to safety concerns after incidents relating to locking mechanism failures resulted in a complaint filed with the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police.

At the time, officials said problems with pneumatic door lock mechanisms began before the jail was even completed 30 years ago with the company making the locks going out of business, and replacement parts having to be handmade.

The jail reopened in June 2016 after renovations were completed. Those renovations included work on the facility door locking mechanisms, plumbing, sewage, painting and the HVAC system, according to officials.

The expected completion date of the current renovations is September 2019.

Christy Howell-Hoots

[email protected]