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With Increase in Addicted Inmates, Campbell Co. Considers More Isolation Units at Jail

The issue that was discussed in most detail at the Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting in Alexandria on Wednesday night concerned thirty additional isolation units to the county jail.

There are a total of 547 beds at the jail, but Judge-Executive Steve Pendery said that number is already too low with the influx of arrests that have stemmed from the regional heroin problem. He said that because of the drug spike, there are almost 100 more people than what the jail was designed to facilitate.

The county announced last spring that it would expand the jail and implement a heroin treatment program.

Pendery also said that the increase in drug offenders has brought with them cases of withdrawal that make these individuals less reasonable and often violent. As a result of this, more isolation cells are needed. At the moment, the jail has five such rooms.

“National literature often suggests that the number of isolation cells ought to be closer to ten percent of the jail population,” Pendery said.

Commissioner Ken Rechtin said that he wasn't against the extra units but that he wanted to see the balance sheet of the cost they will require to build before the project moves ahead much further.

“I'm not ruling out the extension of the additional thirty beds in the isolation units, but I need to know how much we got in there already. We've morphed into a prison from a jail and it's an expensive proposition,” Rechtin said at the meeting.

  • -A motion was also passed to award Eaton Asphalt Co. with three separate bids to resurface roads in the county. The roads listed were South Licking Pike, Steffen Road and Upper Lick Branch Road.
  • -Another motion passed to allow the county to advertise bids for the a storm-water project at Sugar Mill and Parkside Dr.. The cost will be shared with Sanitation District #1, where each side pays half.
  • -The Fiscal Court passed a resolution authorizing Pendery to execute a plan to reach a maintenance agreement with Cummins Bridgeway LLC for maintenance of the generator located at the county's Emergency Operations Center. The deal is a renewal of a current agreement between the county and Cummins Bridgeway and is good for three years, and will cost a little over $4,500.
  • -Also, the Court authorized a separation agreement and general release. Campbell County Commissioner Rechtin was the only opposing vote to the resolution.
  • -There was a motion passed to appoint Rees Hardy to the Campbell County Police Force Merit Board for a four-year term effective September 7. Hardy has served on the Merit Board for 24 years.
  • -Paul Verst was re-appointed to the Kenton County Airport Advisory Committee for a two-year term. It will be Verst's second full term on the board.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor

Photo: Campbell County Building