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STAR contract sent to prosecutor

Even though no funding has been appropriated for the proposed jail move, a contract between the county and its potential neighbor who might provide services has been sent to the county prosecutor for his review.

At their regular Thursday meeting sheriff Jeff Lawless presented to the commissioners the contract that would be between STAR Community Justice Center and the county. In an effort to save money on the proposal to move the jail to a section of the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Center, STAR has offered to provide meals to inmates, do laundry and handle maintenance inside and out of the jail.

Right now the cooks at the jail handle the inmates’ laundry and courthouse maintenance workers handle simple repairs and yard work. All those workers are under union contracts.

“There might be an issue with collective bargaining,” Lawless told the commissioners. “These shared services are needed to help make this work.”

In the contract STAR would charge the county $2.48 per meal with the county responsible for reporting to STAR each day its current census. Laundry service would cost the county $14,000 a year or $1,166.67 a month with grounds maintenance at $650 a month. Building maintenance would cost a minimum of $60 a visit — $35 to come to the jail plus $25 an hour for work done there.

“The fees are a state standard,” Lawless said.

However, STAR’s director told the sheriff if the county considered any fees too high, they could possibly be renegotiated subject to the approval of the state.