Commission receives Jail Task Force report, votes to build jail addition


The Blount County Commission received recommendations from the Blount County Jail Task Force Monday. Judge John Dobson reported briefly that, while the task force found the jail well-managed, it needs additional beds and space to serve the inmate population. The task force found it also needs expansion of programs to provide rehabilitation sufficient to help inmates function as responsible and productive citizens when they return to the outside world.

The task force recommends building a 72-bed dorm-style jail addition for lowrisk, non-violent inmates. It will serve as a facility within which to introduce a work-release program for inmates who would be able to work outside the jail during the day. They would earn wages to help meet financial responsibilities both within the jail and outside its confines. They would not be on full lockdown in separate cells, but would be in nightly lockdown status within a barracks-style environment.

Following the business meeting, the commission went into executive session to further discuss security matters relating to the report’s recommendations. When they returned, the commission unanimously passed two motions related to the jail addition: (1) a motion to enter into a contract with Lathan Associates to produce architectural and construction drawings and diagrams for a building addition separate from the jail itself, but connected to it by a breezeway or other similar structure, and (2) a motion to appoint District 2 Commissioner Mike Painter as project manager for the job, which is to be built on an “in house” basis (not specified in either motion). Dangerous dog protocol and landfill application

The commission unanimously approved the Dangerous Dog Investigation Procedure, a listing of twelve steps involved in determining the status of any dog who has bitten someone.

The commission voted to confirm receipt of an application for operations expansion of B&B Tire Landfill. The landfill, currently located off County Road 9 in District 1, is nearing full capacity. The application covers a desired relocation to a site in the Cleveland/Rosa area. In other business, the commission:

• called a special meeting for Sept. 17, at 9 a.m., to adopt the 2019 fiscal year budget.

• proclaimed September as National Recovery Month.

• voted to abandon (following a public hearing) a portion of Dorning Road in District 2; abandonment does not affect access to users of Grigsby Road. Engineering matters

Moving Blount County Forward projects report: County Highways 34, 35, and 36 repaving will begin later this week, barring rain delays. Repaving on Center Springs Road should finish within the next two weeks providing the weather cooperates, leaving Joy Road as the one road remaining in the Moving Blount County Forward paving plan. It is scheduled for next summer. (Resurfacing is also scheduled to begin on Deans Ferry Road immediately, following reclamation on the Deans Ferry Road portion of the project. It will get a tar and gravel treatment as soon as weather permits, followed by an asphalt seal layer next spring. The project includes Elvester Road from its junction with Deans Ferry Road to the Jefferson County line.) Quorum and future meetings

The chairman and all commissioners were present at the business meeting.

The next commission work session will be Thursday, Oct. 4, at 9 a.m., and the next business meeting will be Tuesday Oct. 9, at 9 a.m. Both will be in the commission board room at the courthouse in Oneonta. Announcement

Adequate signatures have been presented to the Blount County Probate office to provide for a referendum on the November General Election ballot for a fire and medical services district in the Mt. High area.