COLUMBUS — State Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) recently issued the following statement regarding the announcement of state funding coming to Gallia and Lawrence counties:
“Last General Assembly, I supported Senate Bill 310 to support local jail renovations throughout our state. Today, I’m proud to see $50 million in state support being allocated to local communities for these projects because of that legislation.
“The improvements and additions to jail facilities that this funding provides is not only promoting the safety within jails, but will also support law enforcement, public safety and our local communities.
“I applaud the work of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio for their collaborative efforts to secure this funding. I’m grateful for the updates coming to the 93rd House District.”
Lawrence County will receive $16.8 million for the construction of a new jail that will include increased classroom space and counseling areas, while also improving security and the overall quality of life. Additionally, Gallia County will receive $5.5 million to assist the on-going construction to the county’s jail facility.
As previously reported by the Tribune, the Gallia project is estimated to cost roughly $20 million, with funding also secured via the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.
Ground was broken on the 32,000-square foot facility in June of this year along Second Avenue and at that time it was reported it would take an estimated 16 months to complete. The new jail will have a basement, first floor and partial second story and will have the capability of housing 120 incarcerated individuals.
As also reported by the Tribune in June, the new jail can also be expanded to offer 160-180 beds in the future, if the need arises, due to the infrastructure already being put in place. The new facility will replace the current one which is housed in the basement of the Gallia County Courthouse and was originally built in the early 1960’s with an initial capacity of 38 incarcerated people.