Jail projects to get attention this year

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors ran down a list of future building projects and laid out their priorities during a meeting Tuesday.

One project at the top of the list is tuckpointing work at the Marshall County Jail. It is needed to preserve the structure for the future.

“We’ve got some problems out there that we can’t let deteriorate any further,” said Dave Thompson, chair of the supervisors.

Tuckpointing would involve fixing the cracks and reinforcing the brick work at the facility west of Marshalltown.

“Like all brick buildings, you have to monitor and maintain it,” said Sheriff Ted Kamatchus.

Another major project for this year at the jail is replacing the control panel, which operates the locking system for the cells and doors. It is 13 years old and also operates the lights and security cameras at the jail.

“Like all computerized systems, it has come to life’s end,” Kamatchus said. “We want to deal with it before it becomes an unsafe situation. That panel makes sure people stay secured.”

Kamatchus said the jail is running 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, so equipment has to work all the time since there is no downtime.

The county is also looking into the possibility of a tuckpointing project at the courthouse.

The ongoing saga of the courthouse clock continues. The county has been able to hire work that has fixed three of the four clocks in the tower, which run on time. The west side clock is still off and will be for the foreseeable future until a major overhaul is done in the tower in the next few years. There are also possible funding streams aside from county money for the project.

“I would like more time to pursue the possibility of a grant through the historical society,” Thompson said.