Jail gets new washers, dryers

WARREN – The laundry machines in the Trumbull County Jail aren’t the typical residential washer and dryer sets. Rather than handling a couple loads of laundry a week, these machines run almost non-stop to keep inmates in clean clothing and sleeping on fresh bed linens.

”We’ve got inmate workers, that’s what they do (laundry), 24/7,” said jail administrator Eric Shay.

On an average day, there are about 300 inmates kept in the High Street N.W. facility. That amounts to some 25 to 30 loads of laundry a day.

The three washer and dryer units in the jail now were installed when improvements were made to the facility in 1997, so they’ve passed their useful life, which is why county commissioners Wednesday agreed to replace the worn-out machines.

”They really need them because they are about 18 years old,” said commissioner Frank Fuda.

The new industrial units were ordered from and will be installed by Belenky Inc. of Akron, which submitted the lowest of three proposals at $43,168. The other proposals were $54,427 and $58,066.

Shay said at least four inmates work in the laundry room. Standards call for the uniforms worn by inmates and sheets be changed twice a week. Blankets are replaced once a month. The laundry machines are about four times the size of the typical residential washer or dryer.

The units are being bought with casino tax revenue. Since 2012, casino funds given to the county have amounted to about $3.5 million. The money has been used for a number of other capital improvement projects, like a new roof for a building at the county Engineer’s Office, eight new sheriff’s office police cruisers and radios, and global positioning units.