PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini has expressed some interest in opening the former juvenile detention center, currently occupied by The Counseling Center’s Second Chance program. Upon review of the 2011 contract between the Scioto County Commissioners and The Counseling Center for use of the facility, Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Danielle Parker said The Counseling Center has an option on the building until 2016.
“The contract we have is a yearly contract the way it was set it, it’s renewable for five years. That means that, as long as they comply with the terms of the contract, they can renew that until 2016,” said Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners. “I know they have their plans for the building and I’m sure they are going to try to hold on to the contract and if they do we have to honor that.”
The issue of limited jail space in the region came to light when officials from Scioto, Lawrence and Jackson County toured of the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility (ORV) in Franklin Furnace.
After the tour, the officials came together to brainstorm about the possibilities of reopening the facility as a regional jail.
State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson spearheaded the effort to bring local and state officials together to tour the facility and talk about possibilities.
One of the driving forces behind the idea, is that Lawrence County is under orders of the state to find new jail facilities. The ORV was initially considered a potential solution, even though it is located in Scioto County.
Donini has voiced his concern about the opening of a regional jail stating it would hurt Scioto County financially.
Doug Coleman, Scioto County Commissioner has also voiced his concerns about reopening ORV stating, “There is no way we could operate that facility (ORV), it would break all three counties (Scioto, Lawrence and Jackson).”
Crabtree said if ORV were to reopen, he believes it should be under the control of Scioto County.
“Whatever happens down there Scioto County should have control. I think the only way its ever going to open back up again is if the state of Ohio would put some money up, to help get things started. Right now it’s still an idea, it would be nice if it could open back up, there was a lot of jobs there,” Crabtree said.
When informed about the contract status between the Counseling Center and the county regarding the detention center, Donini expressed disappointment Thursday.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.