County Judge: Results from air sample at sheriff’s department should arrive next week

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Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said this week an air sample quality check, due back the first week in April, should tell if a mold problem exists at the Independence County Sheriff’s Department offices. (For more on this story, click here.)

Griffin noted John Hatchett of EMTEC took the sample, and he “indicated that the initial review observed nothing alarming.” EMTEC is the group recommended by the Association of Arkansas Counties Risk Management division, the judge said.

Hatchett did say the roof needed to be repaired, and Griffin noted he would present a funding plan at the next Independence County Quorum Court meeting. Griffin said the sheriff’s department budget categories of “Parts & Repairs” and “Maintenance” has around $40,000 available which can cover the expense. The judge also said there is $117,400 in the sheriff’s communications fund and another $57,792 in the jail fine fund.

Griffin said the question is whether the roof should be repaired or recovered completely.

He said he would allow the quorum court to determine that.

On another subject, the judge said the county’s jail project to add eight beds for community service workers and eliminate a fire hazard continues with the tiling of the shower for 309 inmate relocation. He said if the state does not approve this addition, then the 309s will have to return to the Arkansas Department of Corrections and the county would then have six beds for community service workers available.

309s are state prisoners placed in county and city lockups to provide the governmental entity with mostly “free” labor.

“When complete, the project will cost the county between $20,000 and $30,000 dollars, and that would compare to $50,000 per bed for an expansion of the jail,” said the judge, noting that is very cost effective and would greatly help with jail overcrowding.

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