Commissioners receive mini ‘wish list’

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart presented a mini “wish list” to the Shelby County Commissioners Tuesday morning.

“We have pushed the jail to maximum capacity based on the federal prisoners we house,” said Lenhart. “My staff resources are almost exhausted. We’ve done a cost analysis for staffing. I’d like you to think about this and we’ll go from there.”

The cost of one full-time corrections officer is $42,709.85, which includes benefits. The projected cost of two full-time officers is $85,419.70.

From January 2017 to present day, the department has spent $32,623.61 in corrections overtime pay.

Currently, there are eight full-time corrections officers who work the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift; eight who work the 3 to 11 p.m. shift; and six full-time and three part-time who work the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. Lenhart would like one additional officer for the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 to 11 p.m. shifts.

In a proposal complied by jail administrator Sgt. Karla Pleiman, she states in 2018, the jail has had a daily population of 167 inmates with the majority of them being felons. The inmates include gang members, drug cartel members, sex offenders and prisoners with murder charges.

More inmates, she wrote, are also in need of mental health services as well as drug and alcohol counseling.

Lenhart said he would like to hire the two new employees before the end of the year.

“We can hire them now and within the first year they have to have the three-week training completed,” said Lenhart.

He added he is talking with Wright State University about holding classes in Shelby County and sheriff’s offices in the surrounding counties could send their employees here for training instead of traveling to Dayton.

“All jails in Ohio are having the same problems,” said Lenhart. “It’s difficult to recruit corrections personnel. Most of them want to be road deputies.

“All of the counties around us are having problems recruiting personnel and retaining personnel,” Lenhart said.

The sheriff’s office currently has 61 employees.

Dan Freytag, of Freytag & Associates, gave an update on the construction at Fair Haven. He asked the commissioners to approve a construction change directive dealing with two fire walls in the addition.

The work, he said, includes four sports where the fire walls need additional protection. The additional construction calls for studs to be placed in the corridors and then the area will be boxed in four feet from the fire walls.

The additional work, he said,will cost approximately $13,621 for labor and materials, which is $3,000 for each area and frames.

Freytag said an upcoming change order will include the fire walls additional cost along with a revised cost for flooring in various locations in the addition.

In other business during recent meetings, the commissioners:

• Approved change orders with Thomas & Marker Construction and Low Voltage Solutions for the Fair Haven addition.

• Authorized advertising for bids for the 2018 sewer pump station and force main replacement project. Bids will be opened Sept. 25 at 11 a.m.

• Set 2018 dog license fees as follows: One-year, $18; one-year, late, $36; one-year, partial, $9; one-year, partial, late, $18; three-year, $54; three-year, late, $72; three-year, partial, $45; permanent, $180; permanent, late, $198; dangerous, $50; kennel license, $90; kennel license, late, $180; kennel license, extra $1; OSU College of Veterinary Medicine: one-year, 10 cents; three-year, 30 cents; permanent, $1.

• Approved annexation of 6.855 acres, the location of the new animal shelter, to the city of Sidney.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.