ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The Muskingum County Commissioners met with DLZ, a consulting company, to hear the findings of their feasibility study into the Muskingum County jail as well as estimates for anticipated needs into the next twenty years.
The consultants discussed the ever changing demands of incarceration stemming from population and gender to mental health and addiction.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz explained the details of the meeting as well as how the county will consider the findings and make the appropriate decisions.
“I’d say the next step is, you know I think it was very eye opening as far as what the study shows,” Lutz said. “DLZ has made the recommendation that our facility has outlived its uses, its capacity. So the next step for us is the state of Ohio did make another grant available that we can apply to by November 30th.”
Lutz noted that ideally, a new facility would be built on existing county property and need 15-to-20 acres of ground as well as being situated close to downtown for court hearings. He also discussed cost estimates.
“Anywhere from probably $55 million up to $62 million depending on what you build,” Lutz said. “Those were for 400 and 500 bed facilities, so again DLZ, that did the feasibility study, are looking at numbers and right now we’re regulated by the state to hold 178.”
The existing jail is a 45-plus-year-old structure that was built to be an office building but has been repurposed as a jail and a new facility will provide a safer environment for inmates as well as officers.