The communication system for inmate phone calls and visitation at the Marshall County Jail will get an upgrade after the commissioners approved a contract Tuesday morning with a new vendor.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin told the commissioners that the company, Telmate, not only offers the telephone option for inmates, but also video visitation at an off-site location. Family members can schedule a video visitation with an inmate by going through officials at Telmate. Chamberlin explained that kiosks will be placed in the cells for video visitation as well as computers. The inmates will use the notebook computers if the kiosks are being used.
The Marshall County Commissioners recently discussed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue the Meals on Wheels program at the Marshall County Council on Aging.
County Attorney Jim Clevenger stated that the current agreement expires Dec. 31 of this year and it needed to be renewed. The agreement allows the meals to be cooked at the Marshall County Jail at a cost of $3.25 per person. The personnel at the Marshall County Council on Aging pick up the meals at the jail and deliver them to those in need.
The Marshall County Commissioners and the county attorney will be reviewing the contract with jail’s healthcare service provider when they meet again on Monday, Nov. 17.
Quality Correctional Care sent Sheriff Tom Chamberlin an agreement and it was then forwarded to County Attorney Jim Clevenger for a four year term. The current one-year contract expires on Dec. 31 of this year. The contract calls for a $153,000 contract price which will be good during each of the four years. That price would be reassessed if the county agrees to renew this agreement in 2019, although the county would review services annually.
The Marshall County Council members will consider several additional appropriations in their monthly meeting today.
Marshall County Superior Court No. 2 Judge Dean Colvin will request $30,000 in an additional appropriation for pauper council while Sheriff Tom Chamberlin will discuss a $3,000 request for overtime.
A request for $250,000 from the Rainy Day Fund to cover the cost of the Metronet project is on the agenda. St. Joseph County recently paid that for their cost of the project which was placed into the Rainy Day Fund. The council members will now take out that money to complete payment on the project.
The Marshall County Commissioners and the Marshall County Council met in joint session Monday morning to discuss the possibility of refinancing the bonds the county took out when the Marshall County Jail was built back in 2006.
The bond for the jail project was roughly $15 million in 2006 and $11 million is still outstanding. The county is hoping to lower their payment of $1.2 million per year until 2026.
The Marshall County Council heard several requests from department heads for consideration for the 2015 budget.
One item is the upgrade of the 911 system at the Marshall County Jail. Matt Pitney, the 911 Supervisor, said the current system is at least ten years old. He added that parts are no longer available for repairs and a service agreement will no longer be an option since the company servicing the equipment has been bought out and that company has decided to “end of life” that system.
The Marshall County Council will meet in regular session this morning.
The recorder and the clerk will be before the council to request personnel replacements and budget considerations will be taken from several departments.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin will discuss an additional appropriation for $50,000 for prisoner care. The proposal was made at the council’s previous meeting where the members agreed to advertise for the money and a final decision will be made today.
The Marshall County Council entertained a request from Sheriff Tom Chamberlin to advertise for an additional appropriation for inmate health care.
In October 2013, the county approved Chamberlin to enter into a contract with Quality Correctional Care and while Chamberlin said the services they have provided are excellent, more money needs to be appropriated for their services.
The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department has two new patrol sergeants. Patrolmen Phil Beam and Nick Laffoon were selected through a numerical scoring system by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department Merit Board. Beam is a 27-year veteran of the department and lives in the Argos area. Laffoon lives near Plymouth and has been with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department for nine years.
Along with the approval of year-end claims, the Marshall County Commissioners approved pre-payment for a new van for the Marshall County Corrections facility during a special meeting held Tuesday, Dec. 31.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin told the commissioners that he would be purchasing a used 2013 Ford van from Oliver Ford that would be used to transport prisoners. There will be no trade-in as an older, smaller van will be used for local transfers.
The Marshall County Commissioners will meet this morning at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin will present a proposal to the commissioners for the purpose of purchasing patrol vehicles for next year. Court Services Director Ward Byers will be before the board to discuss a contract with Heather Green.
Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin informed the Marshall County Council this week that the jail kitchen will be getting two new stoves.
He explained that the old stove was severely damaged when fire retardant had sprayed in the kitchen during an overnight incident in September. A settlement was reached to replace two commercial-grade stoves in the kitchen. When installed, the kitchen will have two stoves and four ovens to help prepare meals for the almost 200 inmates in the facility.
The Marshall County Council approved a request by Sheriff Tom Chamberlin to hire an officer to replace one who recently resigned. The council also approved a request by Clerk Julie Fox to hire a deputy clerk as Vicki Yost will be vacating the position when she moves to Alabama. Yost had worked in the clerk’s office for more than 10 years.
The Marshall County Council approved two requests from department heads to seek replacements in their divisions.
County Prosecutor David Holmes requested a replacement for a deputy prosecutor. He explained that one of the deputy prosecutors accepted a job in St. Joseph County and will be leaving the office at the end of August. He told the council he wanted to interview for a replacement deputy prosecutor right away and the council approved that request.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin requested to seek a new head cook and a turnkey/dispatcher. Chamberlin told the council that both positions are full time and were recently vacated. The council approved the sheriff’s request and he is now able to accept applications and interview prospective employees for those two positions.
The Marshall County Jail situation is causing the Marshall County Council to plan differently for next year’s budget.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin was before the council Monday morning to ask for $80,000 in additional appropriations for prisoner meals for the rest of the year. He commented that just over the weekend the jail saw over 200 inmates in the facility which is the most that has been incarcerated at one time since the jail was built in 2006. The bed capacity is 238.
The Marshall County Commissioners heard from Sheriff Tom Chamberlin about a State Board of Accounts issue with the Meals on Wheels payments.
The Meals on Wheels program is run out of the Marshall County Council on Aging organization and they have a contract with the sheriff’s department. The staff at the sheriff’s department prepares the meals for the Meals on Wheels program at a cost of $3.25 plus an overhead charge of 70 cents which includes labor and use of equipment.
Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin has announced that he will be hosting the annual blood drive campaign to honor fallen officers. Last year, 23 units of blood were collected, benefiting over 69 people.
Chamberlin said this year’s goal is to surpass last year’s collection both locally and nationwide. The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department parking lot at 1400 Pioneer Drive in Plymouth on Monday, June 4 from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET. Appointments are encouraged, but not necessary. Call 1-800 REDCROSS for more information or to schedule an appointment.