GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — On Friday, the Gallia County Commissioners announced an award of $5.5 million to Gallia County for the construction of the new jail facility.
According to a news release from the commissioners’ office, Gallia County will receive capital funding in the amount of $5.5 million to use toward the on-going construction of a new jail facility.
The current jail is 57 years old and located in the basement of the Gallia County Annex. The jail has a recommended capacity of 11 but exceeds this number on a regular basis. The new jail is designed to house 120 individuals with enhanced programming space allowing for focus on individuals with mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation. The surplus beds will be made available to other counties.
A total of $50 million was allocated to support local jail renovations in Senate Bill 310 which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in December 2020. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (ODRC) Bureau of Adult Detention administered the application process and selected jails based on those with the greatest need for construction and renovation work to improve conditions and operations, stated the news release. The ability of each jail to serve neighboring jurisdictions was also considered.
President of the Gallia County Board of Commissioners Harold Montgomery stated: “It is a great day for Gallia County. Out of 52 requests state-wide totaling $320 million, we are truly honored and appreciative to have been selected to receive this $5.5 million grant award. This announcement has come at a time when increased funding is needed to offset the steep increase in project costs.”
In addition, Commissioner Montgomery said: “This entire project has been a cooperative endeavor between the Gallia County Commissioners, Sheriff Matt Champlin and the staff of both our offices. Lastly, we want to thank Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature for their vision and concern for Southeastern Ohio. Also thank you to our State Representative Jason Stephens and State Senator Bob Peterson.”
Sheriff Champlin also provided a statement following Friday’s announcement: “The receipt of funding to support our jail project is vital to Gallia County. During my time in office, my staff and I have focused on providing the most professional law enforcement services to the citizens we serve and this new jail will be just one more piece to the level of service we can provide. The new jail will not only allow us to be self-sufficient and maximize the use of our tax dollars, but it will also allow us to bring in revenue from our surrounding counties.”
Also included in the news release was a statement from the governor.
“Upgrading these jails is about more than just safety, it’s also about providing an environment that can influence positive change,” said Governor DeWine. “These jails have fallen into such disrepair because the counties simply couldn’t afford the cost to rebuild on their own. With this help from the state, the improved county jails will better meet the demands of our modern criminal justice system and better address inmates’ underlying issues that may be causing criminal behavior, such as mental health or substance use concerns.”
Information in the news release provided on behalf of the Gallia County Board of Commissioners.
As previously reported by the Tribune, the project is estimated to cost roughly $20 million, with funding also secured via the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.