Mathematical errors and questionable proposals were found in a feasibility study that calls for the construction of a new Lucas County Jail as was revealed during Wednesday’s meeting of the Corrections Commission of Northwest Ohio.
CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis said during an August board meeting, CCNO officials were advised that Lucas County was conducting a feasibility study to build a new Lucas County jail that could result in Lucas County and Toledo no longer participating in CCNO. CCNO officials asked that their own feasibility study be conducted to determine the potential impact on CCNO. The special study also showed potential additional costs to Lucas County and Toledo as well as assumptions made in the Lucas County jail study that were questionable and warrant further exploration.
Mark Goldman with Mark Goldman & Associates Inc., justice facility planners, said he looked at the portion of the feasibility study that called for construction of a 620-bed pretrial facility as well as a 400-bed sentenced facility for a total capacity of 1,020 beds for the new Lucas County jail. Mr. Goldman noted that if Lucas County and Toledo pull out of CCNO, it would reduce occupancy and revenues by 69 percent.
Mr. Goldman pointed out several mathematical errors to include excluding square footage and $3 million for direct housing support; not adding program space; as well as mathematical errors in staffing and transportation adjustments. The DLR group that conducted the initial feasibility study had projected an annual saving of $282,000 but Mr. Goldman said it would be an actual loss of $400,000 a year to operate the 1,020-bed facility in comparison to continued participation in CCNO. He noted the actual cost per diem rate at CCNO was $56 in comparison to $156.99 at the current Lucas County jail for 2013.