Officials work to repair Ottawa County Jail after fire, move inmates to cut costs
Inmates moved from Tulsa county to Rogers county
OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. — On October 19th, an electrical fire at the Ottawa County jail forced the sheriff’s office to move inmates to other facilities.
Now, inmates have been moved again.
“I believe it was on [November] 25th, I was in contact with Rogers County. Got it worked out with them to where since our count has gotten down so low, they’ve agreed to take the remainder of our inmates from Tulsa County,” says Lieutenant James White with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.
Before the move, there were around 50 inmates still at the Tulsa County jail, costing the county around 70-dollars per inmate per day. That total cost is around 120 thousand dollars.
The sheriff’s office has also been housing some inmates in Craig County.
According to Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd, Rogers County isn’t charging them to house the inmates. They will, however, have to pay around 10-dollars per day per inmate if they can’t get inmates back in Ottawa County soon.
Officials say they are getting closer to that goal every day.
“We’ve gone through and done a deep clean on the pods. We’ve power washed them, we’ve had several bids being placed. This coming week, hopefully, we’ll have the smoke detectors and sprinkler heads replaced,” explains White. “We have a crew right now that is going through and removing some wires off of the piping for the sprinkler system. That is an issue that we have to go through and take care of as well.”
They’ve also fixed the roof where there was fire damage, and have patched other areas to keep water from leaking into the jail when it rains.
But, most of the things that are being done weren’t damaged by the fire.
The county has to get several things fixed and up to code before the state jail inspector will sign off on inmates being brought back into the jail.
Sheriff Floyd tells KOAM the list of things that needed to be done before inmates were brought back in was pretty long at first, but they were able to talk the list down to the bigger issues, so they can get inmates brought back in sooner.
“As of right now, it mainly is more of the control panel functioning, the sprinkler, smoke detectors. The roof was one of them, and the fire suppression system itself,” says White.
Once inmates are back in the jail, the county is going to keep their numbers low, so they can continue to work on the smaller things on the list, like broken windows and plumbing.
Unfortunately, they don’t know exactly when that will be.
Part of the construction costs, as well as the cost the county has incurred sending inmates to other facilities, will be covered by insurance.
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