Jail study in works

WARREN — Trumbull County commissioners approved a $14,500 contract Wednesday to study maintenance issues at the Trumbull County Jail.

Baker, Bednar, Snyder & Associates received the contract based on a statement of qualifications, and will examine the 21-year-old building for mechanical, plumbing, water and design issues, according to the commissioner’s agenda.

Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office Major Dan Mason said 21 years may not seem old for a building, but the jail is used 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“That can multiply the age, realistically, by three times, so it would be nearly 70 years old, because of the stress on the building from being constantly in use,” Mason said.

Mason said the jail has numerous recurring issues with plumbing, water and lighting.

The study will identify all of the issues so county officials can get an idea of what work needs to be done, how much it might cost and how to prioritize the maintenance, Mason said.

Though the repairs will cost money upfront — the jail has had no major updates since it was built — they are likely to save money in the long run with energy efficient lighting, more effective water heating and general maintenance costs, Mason said.

“These updates are long overdue,” Mason said.

Mason said theroof leaks and some of the structure’s locking mechanisms aren’t working right.

“Like in most of the local governments in the community, the county has more to do with less. There are fewer maintenance people around to handle repairs,” Mason said.

Jail officials are also getting ready to go out for bid on security upgrades to the facility that are estimated to cost about $3 million for things like new security cameras, Mason said.