Coweta jail expansion to be studied

The idea of potentially expanding the Coweta County Jail and a methodology to accomplish that need moved one step closer to reality Feb. 16 when commissioners approved the award of a needs assessment and space analysis to low bidder Mark Goldman & Associates. Goldman was one of four bidders responding to the Request for Proposal.

“It’s been a long process and we’re ready to get going with it,” Sheriff Mike Yeager of the upcoming study.

The needs assessment and space analysis will include a number of aspects necessary to accommodate the proposed expansion. Among those is the development of an inmate population projection through 2025, a determination of required bed space for low, mid, and high growth scenarios, a comprehensive review of the existing facility and the development of a space allotment program to meet 5, 10 and 15-year requirements.

Other project bids ranged from $42,890 to $83,000.

Yeager in late 2009 said the jail currently houses 350 inmates and that additional planned accommodations will bring the total to more than 400 beds. He said the jail would eventually need to accommodate another 300-350 beds.

The expansion project would require voter approval of an extended 1-cent sales tax. The current Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) will expire in 2012.

The jail expansion committee includes Sheriff Mike Yeager, Commissioner Tim Lassetter, Blake Adcock and Lenn Wood from the sheriff’s office and Hans Wilson from the finance department.