Jail walls to go up within the month

Bad news and good news alike concerning the new Knox County Detention Center was brought before the Fiscal Court at the January 24 meeting.

Some oversights by the design team, architect and engineer in the detention center’s shop drawings resulted in a change order with an additional charge of $41,367. This order covers changes in security equipment, door frames, key passes and fire-rated hardware, among other items.

“They found issues that we have to address and that’s where your change order comes from,” said Matt Mills with Codell Construction. “There were some oversights on bid day when they got their original shop drawings, so there were changes that had to be made.”

Mills was not just a bearer of bad news, though. The detention center also received a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) change order, bringing a credit of $36,560 to help soften the blow of the previous change order.

“We got some changes made where [the HVAC] can be an off the shelf item, so there are 20 to 25 heat pumps that we can get more of a standardized unit and it will actually recognize a savings of $36,560,” continued Mills.

Finally, Mills reported the construction team working on the detention center are approximately one month ahead of schedule. The next step in the build is to pour the slab and walls will start going up in approximately three to four weeks.

Resignations and new hires were also hot topics at the meeting.

First, a new Fiscal Court clerk and administrative assistant has been hired. Amy Warren officially took over the position on January 15, 2018, replacing Donna Smith who left to work for Greg Helton in the Clerk’s Office.

“It’s a lot different from what I was doing. I’m just excited to learn it,” said Warren.

Two new jail hires were also approved by the court. Silas McVey was hired as a part-time deputy jailer on December 29, 2017 and David W. Logan, Jr. was hired as a part-time deputy jailer on January 7, 2018. McVey and Logan were hired to replace full-time jail employees who left to take other jobs. Jailer Mary Hammons reports she will promote within to fill the full-time vacancies now created.

Personnel changes saw Emergency Management Director Mike Mitchell resign to become the county’s new PRIDE coordinator, which also serves as solid waste coordinator. That position was vacated by Steve Warren’s resignation. Mitchell, who is seeking election for Judge-Executive, was unable to run due to federal funding, according to officials with the Kentucky Association of Counties. Todd Owens was unanimously approved as the new Emergency Management Director.