Saturday, January 12th, 2008
By William Kincaid
Preliminary design work complete for new jail
  The $594,250 second phase of the new Mercer County jail project was approved by Mercer County Commissioners on Thursday.
Commissioners authorized a lump sum payment to Shremshock Architects of Columbus to complete the design services through bidding and permitting.
Commissioners hired Shremshock on May 25, 2006, for the first phase of the project, which included all pre-architectural activities required by the state, as well as the schematic design. The preliminary design work - in which Shremshock was paid $163,000 - recently was completed.
The next step in the process involves hiring an engineering company to perform 12 to 15 test bores at the proposed site.
The jail setback at the site west of the Mercer County Home will match neighboring Foundations Behavioral Health Services. Preliminary plans call for the county home driveway to be widened to accommodate added sheriff's department traffic, meaning there will be no additional outlet onto state Route 29.
Bids will be sought in May following completion of construction blueprints and awarded in July. The goal is to have the building enclosed by winter.
"The jail should be finished within 12 to 15 months after groundbreaking," Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said. "The timetable for completion puts us at late 2009 with inmates being transferred in early 2010."
The sheriff and county commissioners have discussed a new detention center for more than three years. The current jail, built in 1939, is certified to hold 15 inmates.
In other news this week, commissioners approved the following purchases for the Mercer County Engineer Department:
• A $46,250 new asphalt melting kettle crack filling machine through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services purchasing program.
• A $5,000 used, 45-foot-long trailer with composite steel frame and aluminum deck from Klingshirn Trucking.
• Sheet membrane waterproofing material to be used for the department's bridge and large culvert program for $8,890 from P.S. Construction Fabrics Inc., Wadsworth.
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