Voting to close the door

Published 7:31 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office asked the Troup County Board of Commissioners with a little help to make sure its front gate will keep anyone who is supposed to be in, in on Thursday.

Sherriff James Woodruff spoke to the commission about replacing a control panel that controls when the gate opens and closes. The panel was installed when the Troup County Jail was built, 23 years ago.

“When the jail was built in 1995, of course we had control panels put in,” Woodruff said. “This one has central control. It controls our gates, our doors, lights on and off, water on and off in certain cells. We have patched that thing for years and years. It has gone out, and we’ve patched it.”

According to County Manager Tod Tentler, the new panel was included in SPLOST V, which begins Jan. 1, 2019. However, officials agreed that the new panel would be needed sooner than originally anticipated, so the county may have to vote on a resolution to be able to use funds for the replacement prior to the beginning of that SPLOST year. 

“It is to the point where you just can’t put anymore Band-Aids on it, so we have to replace that at the cost of $38,954.23,” Woodruff said. 

If not replaced, the current panel could create a security problem at the jail because of their connection to the jail’s gate.

“A lot of the times, the panel will go down, and the gates outside will be open, and there is no way to close them,” Woodruff said. “You can’t manually close them, so if the gates are open and an inmate runs, they run right out of the open gate because we can’t even close them until we get that panel repaired again. It can be a security issue.”

It was unclear if the replacement would require a resolution on Thursday, but Tentler said a resolution would be available for the commission to vote on Tuesday if it was deemed necessary.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners plans to meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.