List for jail committee surpasses 20 names

Sheriff Rob Craft told Marion County commissioners Monday that he is aware of about 20 citizens who have asked to be on a jail planning committee that could recommend a new or updated building.

He told the commissioners he would be ready to close the application process Friday, and be ready next Monday to go over names with them to narrow the committee to about a dozen members.

The commissioners said they were aware of more persons interested who should be contacting Craft before Friday.

They said they want objective input to come up with direction on what the county should do after voters defeated last November a proposed bond issue to build a new communications and jail building with both local and pay-to-stay prisoners from other counties.

Although all three commissioners initially said they wanted to be on the committee, Commissioner Randy Dallke said he was ?resigning? himself from the idea after talking to constituents who thought having commissioners on the committee would be too intimidating for new input and honesty.

Commissioner Bob Hein said he had almost the same kind of input from his constituents and was also removing himself from the committee.

?I think we should let the committee discuss it, and then let the committee bring their viewpoints to us,? Hein said.

Commissioner Dan Holub agreed that removing themselves from the committee probably was the best idea for the commissioners. He said he had considered commissioners being at meetings only to listen.

Dallke said the commissioners may stay involved to the point of writing a letter for the committee describing ?what we?ve seen, what we?ve done, our understanding of the situation.?

Dallke said he was impressed with the thoughtfullness of one constituent who said that due to the age of the courthouse, he might want to look at the jail project as a total courthouse grounds and buildings upgrade.

Craft said he has received notice from the State Fire Marshall?s Office that its inspector will be at the jail in April to determine progress and compliance with required state upgrades.

Craft said recent maintenance at the jail has included having a locksmith repair and upgrade locks.

There are also problems with plumbing and rust in showers, he said.

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