New jail slated to be in use by end of October

By: 
Ryan Lewis, Editor

Allegan County administration expects the new jail to be in use by the end of October.

County administrator Rob Sarro said the county had turned in an application for a partial occupancy permit from Michigan Township Services on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

It’s partial because the county is still in the process of installing and linking carbon monoxide detectors in the undeveloped portion of the building.

Major construction wrapped up this spring on the approximately $20 million project to retrofit the former Haworth industrial building at 640 River St. for sheriff offices and a jail.

Sarro told county commissioners Thursday, Aug. 28, that only three items remained that the county was addressing to meet code.

The major issue left is the carbon monoxide issue. Only 130,000 of the building’s 190,000 square feet has been used for offices and the corrections areas of the complex. The remainder is empty, cavernous industrial space the county intends to use for storage, including vehicles. Because of that, it needs to be linked to the building’s ventilation system. Carbon monoxide detectors must be linked to the system to trigger it to turn on if levels rise too high.

Sarro said the county sought the partial permit because that system will not be in place until the end of September or early October.

“(The partial permit) helps us get an earlier start on moving in,” Sarro said, allowing the sheriff department to earlier move in equipment and train on operating the new facility before inmates are transferred.

In requesting the permit, the county has promised to not park vehicles in the undeveloped area.

If granted, the permit is expected to be replaced by a comprehensive permit for which the county will apply after the detection system is installed and tested.

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