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Adams Co. Board forms exploratory committee on jail

6 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Gough

The Adams County Board approved a new committee tasked to look into long-term options to upgrade or replace the County Jail.

Cobretti Matlick, Nicholas Ray and Jason Keller face at least five counts, including kidnapping and attempted escape. Matlick is also charged with attempted 1st degree murder. According to police, Matlick twice stabbed an Adams County corrections officer with a home-made weapon. That weapon was allegedly made by both Keller and Ray.

The Public Health and Safety Committee, which oversees the jail, met last week to discuss the ramifactions following the attempted jailbreak. County Board Chairman Les Post said at that meeting it was time to begin discussions on the facilites future. 

Board Member Mark Peter will chair the committee and fellow Board members Duane Venvertloh, Ryan Niekamp and Kent Snider will sit on the committee along with Sheriff Brent Fischer.

"Their main task is to come up with a long-range plan for the jail," Post said. "To look for funding sources...to spend money to revamp what we have or start from scratch. It's more of a long range planning process to get something done up there."

Post said there is no deadline for the committee to come up with findings and the meetings will be open to the public. 

Venvertloh, who also chairs the Finance Committee, said the cost of County employees insurance premiums would not increase in the upcoming fiscal year. He said meetings with department heads to prepare their respective 2015 budgets would begin next week with plans to have first draft budgets by the September County Board meeting. The Board typically votes on the budget in November.  

Part of next year's County Budget may include funding for an Executive Assistant to the County Board position. Venvertloh said the Finance Committee intends to draft a resolution for review of all committees and board members to move the position along.

The position would have a focus on human resources and health and benefit information. "We want to centralize that," Venvertloh said. "It will be extremely efficient for the county."

The Board also approved spending $450,000 to replace the Bear Creek Bridge on County Highway 7 north of Ursa.

Peter had concerns about the bridge holding up during harvest and County Engineer Jim Frankenhoff said load limits have been placed on the bridge, but it would not be replaced until spring. 


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