Incorporating the existing jail property with the adjacent property was the most cost-effective plan for a new jail. David Wright of Vaughn & Melton had prepared construction estimates for each site being considered.
At the existing jail site, the cost came to $6,417,644. This does not include the cost of purchasing the additional property, but does include all site preparation, a five percent contingency and assumes some drainage work will have to be done to accommodate new construction.
Building a new jail at any of the other sites being considered was estimated to cost at least $7.9 million.
"Using the old jail to house the administration is the biggest cost savings in all of this," Kelley said.
He said he had previously spoken with the two property owners whose land would need to be purchased for the jail site and both were agreeable to selling at a reasonable price.
He had roughly estimated that it would cost about $300,000 to purchase the property.
In addition, Kelley said officials from the city of Pineville had assured him they would work with the county to close an alley that would be eliminated as part of the jail construction.
The new jail would be able to house 200 inmates.
"From day one, most people seemed to prefer the old jail location," said Magistrate Andy Williams during a work session last Friday.
In other business, the court approved the first reading of an ordinance regulating drug treatment clinics that distribute methadone.
The ordinance bans any business that derives over 50-percent of their revenue from the treatment of drug addiction with methadone.
The ordinance is similar to measures the court has adopted over the past year regulating adult book stores.
Kelley said the ordinance covers only the rural areas of the county and that each city would have to determine their own ordinance on the matter.
"This is not aimed at the clinic in Middlesboro," he said. "We've been trying to deal with problem (issues) as they arise throughout the state."
He said the intent of the ordinance was to encourage a full-service drug treatment facility to open in Bell County.
"We'd like to have a full service rehabilitation center, not just a clinic that passes out methadone," he said.
In a separate matter, the court accepted a proposal from Schneider Insurance - the local CHA representative.
All county employees will be able to maintain their current insurance with a few changes.
The co-pay for out-patient surgery and ambulance rides would go from $75 to $150. The co-pay for doctors visit would go down $5 and down $10 for visits to specialists. There would be a $1500 out of pocket limit for employees and the cap on benefits would be $5 million.
"We didn't want anyone to lose any benefits and we wanted to make sure that no one would get dropped, and this does that," Kelley said.
The cost of the insurance is about 8 percent more than last year, but the court's budget had anticipated the increase.
In other business, the court:
- agreed to provide $50,000 to Bell-Whitley for the purchase for property that will keep the agency in Pineville. Bell-Whitley is currently renting the building where their offices are in Pineville. The money will help them to purchase the building and surrounding land for a future expansion.
- set the tax rate fro personal property at 14.9 cents per $100 of assessed value
- set the tax rate for real property at 13.0 cents per $100 of assessed value
- set the tax rate for motor vehicles at 14.9 cents per $100 of assessed value.
- recorded the tax rates set by the Bell County Health Department- real property 3.7 cents per $100 of assessed value and personal property 3.7 cents per $100 of assessed value.
- approved payment of $49,927.21 to K. Carrender Construction Company and $4,001.19 to Vaughn & Melton for work on the Lick Fork/Ambleside Sewer Project
- approved a resolution for a community economic growth grant proposal for up to $461,440 and authorized Kelley to execute any documents necessary for the U.S. 25E sewer extension project.
- appointed Martha Wiley and Ron Gilley to the Bell County Public Library Board of Trustees, term to expire Feb. 28, 2009.
- hired Jeff Knuckles as full-time deputy in the Bell County Sheriff's Office effective Aug. 9.