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.
Sgt. Nick Laffoon, Sheriff Tom Chamberlin and Sgt. Phil Beam
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.
The Marshall County Commissioners discussed the sheriff’s salary contract for 2014 during their recent meeting.
The salary is approved each year and this year’s proposed salary is $82,215.38, which mirrors last year’s agreed sum.
The commissioners approved the contract and the Marshall County Council took action to approve the contract during their meeting Monday morning.
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 Commissioners heard a presentation on Quality Correctional Care with representative Lisa Scroggins Monday morning.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin wanted the commissioners to hear details about what kind of services this company would provide concerning medical care for inmates at the jail.
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.
An additional appropriation for $110,196 was approved by the Marshall County Commissioners for four new police interceptors.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin asked for the purchase of the new police cars at the last Marshall County Council meeting which was approved. The four new cars were purchased from Oliver Ford in Plymouth.
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.