Security Upgrades Approved for Morgan County Jail

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 23, 2023 at 3:47pm

The Morgan County Detention Facility will be receiving some long-awaited upgrades this year.

The Morgan County Commissioners approved a contract with Pauly Jail Building Company for security updates during their regular meeting this morning.

Commissioner Chair Ginny Fanning says the county has been wanting to make the upgrades for a long time and ARPA funding is finally helping the county to get over the hump.

The jail has been on our radar to need some security updates. Our jail is thirty years old and needless to say there have been some changes made that will certainly improve the building. So with the ARPA funds, which we are very thankful, we are able to put that money towards that.”

The estimated upgrades in the contract will cost more than $1.2 million and will cover the entire security system from monitoring systems to door locks.

Commissioner Mike Wankel said during the discussion that jail facility securing needs is such a specialized trade that there was really only one company able to do the work.

Commissioner Brad Zeller added that upgrading the jail’s security is something the county has been saving for over a long period of time, and if it can be said that anything good came from the Covid pandemic, funding being made available for projects like this is certainly that.

Fanning says after covering the jail security project, there will still be some ARPA funding left that the county can use for other long-needed projects. “We had approximately two million for the health department and this is going to end up probably one point two million, close to one point three.

But we will still have a sizable amount and there are projects that are being discussed right now as to what to do with some of that. Windows for the courthouse is one of the projects we are looking at. Some HVAC work that would be added to the jail in addition to the security. But certainly, there are projects that would take care of those ARPA funds.”

The contracted improvements to the Morgan County Jail are estimated to begin in June.

Fanning also announced during the paying of bills in this morning’s meeting that the county also received a grant to help in purchasing six automated external defibrillators.

The grant, which was applied for through the Sheriff’s Office, will pay for half the cost for two units each to be installed in the courthouse, detention center, and road district building.