Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:02AM - 276 Views

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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

On Tuesday the Scioto County Commissioners signed a contract with Southern Ohio Salvage and Contracting, Inc., of Ironton to remove the remains of the former Scioto County Jail from the fourth floor of the County Courthouse. Crews are anticipated to get started as soon as next week.

“This is going to be done at no cost to the county. They will take the bars down, cut them in small pieces so they can be moved from the fourth floor to ground level, then placed in a dumpster. Community service workers and our maintenance department will be responsible for moving the steel to the ground level as a courtesy to the contractor,” said Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Board of Commissioners. “If they had to bring in a crane, we were going to have to pay for this operation.”

He said the contract was written and negotiated in such away in which the county will have to pay nothing.

“They will use the elevator and take it, (steel) down as it’s cut up,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree said there are 65 cells located on the fourth floor. The majority of those doors along with other steel associated with the former jail will be removed as part of this project.

“We are going to keep some of the cells to be used holding cells at the request of a judge,” Crabtree said.

He said crews will have to test the steel for asbestos and lead products prior to starting.

When asked if this was a step towards renovation of the fourth floor, Crabtree said, “That’s something that can happen down the road and is not in the immediate future. The economy is tight and it’s going to be tight for a number of years. We will have to do what we can, as funds become available.”

Since the new Scioto County Jail opened in 2006, the majority of the fourth floor has remained vacated and used as storage space. Over time, the roof of the building began to leak and has caused some damage to the space rendering the majority of it uninhabitable.

A portion of the space is currently being occupied and Commissioner Skip Riffe believes that space could easily be renovated sooner than later.

Crabtree said the county had three companies placing bids for this project. He said the majority of the contractors they were working with wanted to be paid to do the work.

“Phil (Lajoye, Scioto County Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor) had some conversations with this company that if we were able to get the bars moved to the ground level there would be no labor expense. It was worked out that we will get it done, for free,” Crabtree said.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.

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