Former county jail to be demolished

Site will eventually become green space with sitting area

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

Former Fayette County jail, soon to be demolished.

Former Fayette County jail, soon to be demolished.

Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo

A contract allowing the demolition of the former county jail was approved during a recent Fayette County Commissioners’ meeting. The site will eventually become a green space with a sitting area.

The contract for the demolition is with Fillmore Construction out of Leesburg for a cost of $48,500. The former jail, located at 113 E. Market St. in Washington Court House, is an older and outdated building originally built in 1884. Although there were additions made in the 1900s to the facility, that was prior to the state standards and regulations in effect during this century—standards which the former outdated jail mostly failed.

The demolition, according to Commissioner Dan Dean, is expected to begin approximately Aug. 25. Big sprayers will be used to help keep the amount of dust down.

Once clean-up is complete, they will grade the site, and top soil left over from a recent project at the Fayette County Airport will be used.

The site will be left alone to settle until spring. Current plans are to add a concrete patio with landscaping in late spring. The commissioners also received a request to plant a couple of trees in memory of Fayette Countians lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dean explained this would make a nice area for the public and for county employees to eat lunch or relax with a nice view of the courthouse.

There have been no final plans made yet for the old Sheriff’s Annex Building; however, plans to sell the building for development are being considered as well as relocation of the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office, which is currently inside the Fayette County Courthouse.

As previously reported, the new jail is part of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office law enforcement complex located at 1500 Robinson Road S.E. in Washington C.H. It includes an administrative area, a 911 call center, and the detention area.

The legislation that allowed the funding for the new complex was passed by voters during the May 7, 2019 special election by a 1,378-1,129 margin. The levy contained two parts — one to fund the construction and one to fund the operation of the new facility. The funding for the jail was a 40-year, $21,002,594 loan with a 3.5% interest rate. Following the passage, construction of the facility began in June of 2019.

With changes made throughout the construction, the total cost of the construction project came to approximately $21,689,760. Since that original note, the commissioners were able to do a “county bond refunding” which included selling bonds backed by the levy at an approximate 2.35% interest rate, according to Dean.

As previously reported and explained by Dean, “the end result of that will be the county will save, over the life of the loan, about $(8.5) million dollars in interest. Not only that, it shortened the period of the loan. So, instead of a 40-year loan, we now have a 31-year loan.”

Two other contracts were recently approved.

The first of those was with M.P. Dory Company out of Columbus for the 2021 Fayette County Guardrail Project. The cost of the contract will be $279,339.

The second of those contracts was with Gordon Plumbing to run a new sewer line from the existing clean out and install new clean outs at the Commission on Aging building. According to, the sewer clean out is a pipe or pipe(s) with a cap that provides access to the sewer line so that blockages can be removed. The cost of the project will be $7,450.

Two resolutions were signed.

The first of those two names the commissioners’ appointment to the 30-member District 15 Public Works Integrating Committee. According to the Ohio Revised Code, as explained in minutes from the commissioners’ meeting, one member must be appointed by each board of county commissioners in Ohio. The commissioners are appointing Jason Little for the Fayette County Board. Little will serve on the District 15 Public Works Integrating Committee for three years beginning in October.

The second of the two resolutions accepts a different formula to be used for the distribution of local government funds and local government revenue assistance funds. The adopted formula was proposed by the Fayette County Budget Commission.

The formula will be used for one year: 2022. The rates are as follows: County—37.04%, City of Washington—45.75%, Bloomingburg Corp.—2.63%, Jeffersonville Corp.— 3.75%, Milledgeville Corp.— 0.75%, Octa Corp.—0.08%, Townships—10% divided by 10 (as there are 10 townships in Fayette County).

Stay with the Record-Herald weekly for more updates from the Fayette County Commissioners. The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located at 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House, and their office hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at 740-335-0720. Condensed minutes from the meetings are available on the county website.

Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

Former Fayette County jail, soon to be demolished. Fayette County jail, soon to be demolished. Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo
Site will eventually become green space with sitting area

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]