Jailer Bill Jenkins, who was shocked himself at the cost it required, notified magistrates and the judge/executive of the expense; however, it wasn’t until the bills came across the fiscal court table Tuesday, that Orange became very vocal about the expense saying the court was spending an awful lot at the jail.
Jenkins said he had pulled the maintenance costs associated with the plumbing at the jail over the past five years and it came back at a whopping $60,000.
Jenkins also explained to the court that if he didn’t get it fixed, the jail would be in danger of losing its state inmates, which pays between $1,300 and $1,400 per day to house.
“I didn’t like it either but if they move the state inmates it will take time for you to get them back and I can’t afford to lose them,” said Jenkins.
The jail is already subsidized by the county and it is the state inmates that help pay for part of the jail.
The $35,000 bill included past maintenance calls as well that hadn’t been billed until recently say Jenkins. Approximately $24,000 of the cost is for parts only.
Jenkins told the court that a correction toilet is different from other toilets. A correction toilet must mix cold and hot water together to keep the inmates from scalding one another. It also has to flush at certain intervals to keep inmates from flooding the jail. They are all stainless steel and have no seats.
Jenkins said he used McReynolds Plumbing out of western Kentucky. He said he checked around and was receiving costs of $8,000 per toilet. Jenkins found McReynolds by asking around at other jails to see if they were experiencing the same types of problems and if so who did they use. An overwhelming number he contacted used McReynolds and was very happy with him.
Magistrate Russell Poore thanked Jenkins for explaining the situation to the court. Orange asked Jenkins how long it would take to recoup that cost by keeping the state inmates. Jenkins told her about a month.
Magistrate Curtis Watkins made a motion to pay the bill, which passed with a unanimous vote including that of Orange.