New plans for old jail

Published 2:16 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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County applying for grant to move communication center

COLUMBUS—Polk County officials now have a plan for the old jail. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from county manager Marche Pittman. Commissioners decided to hire a company to write a grant to NC911 to renovate the old jail and move the county communication center there. 

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The old jail was constructed in the 1970s and housed the jail and the sheriff’s office and at one time the communication center in the basement. The current communication center is located in the downstairs of the travel and tourism center. 

Polk County will hire Mission Critical Partners to write and administer the grant for approximately $24,000. No county funds will be used however, because Mission Critical Partners obtained a grant from Dogwood Trust for the application costs. 

Pittman said he was told there would be no way for the county to construct a new building for communications for less money than renovating the former jail building. 

Commissioner Ray Gasperson asked if the county will have to contribute any money for the project. 

Pittman said he cannot say it will be fully funded and there is a chance some the project the county will potentially have to pay for. 

The county used the building, located on Ward Street in Columbus, from the early 1970s until August 2018. The county recently constructed a new law enforcement center along Highway 108 just outside Columbus.