In Sept. 16 Issue
We cannot count the number of times state officials have warned Russell County they were going to close the jail.
Over past years, there have been numerous such times and in each incident the problems were always alleviated in some manner.
It appears this time the jail is being closed and should be empty by the time you receive this newspaper, at least that was the latest as the fiscal court ended their meeting Monday.
They are calling an emergency meeting five minutes after the state deadline to empty the facility, but this would apparently be a “what do we do now”session.
We believe our concerns would mirror those of most Russell Countians as they close the facility. We are not concerned whether or not those in the jail facility are held in Russell County, Adair, Casey or wherever.
We are concerned about all the jobs the operation of the jail provided for our people in Russell County. These jobs will be lost for the next few months while we wait for the new facility to open and the new jailer and new fiscal court members to enter the picture.
We are concerned about where the additional expense will come from during this time frame. It certainly will be more expensive to send prisoners elsewhere. It appears a lack of communication or pure lack of concern may be expensive for tax payers.
While the fiscal court is handling this problem they may be preparing for another big issue that could result in another service leaving Russell County.
The Ambulance Service and 911 Dispatch continues to be plagued with questions and concerns but no answers. One suggestion is to contract 911 to the state police.
A previous contract between the two had placed them within the same service but present financial difficulties are apparently bringing many issues to a possible new partnership.
Financial questions have prompted the call for a complete audit of the ambulance service and we all wait for this to be completed. We cannot understand why our county leadership, our judge executive, and our magistrates have not called for professional evaluation of both services as well. Should we not have some professional and experienced evaluation on both?
We appreciate our EMS and 911board and commend their willingness to serve, but professional evaluation is needed. The fiscal court again this month loaned the service some $45,000 to meet payroll.
We really appreciate the men and women working with EMS and 911dispatch as they continue to serve the county without having any type of feel for the future. We feel certain they could go just about anywhere and get a job, but they continue to serve the county while they wait for our directives.
Our fiscal court needs to act professionally and swiftly on this issue as the health and safety of the county depends upon it. Plus, we do not need to send more jobs out of the county.