By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

After meeting with Hancock County Sheriff Michael Heldman on several projects, the county commissioners on Tuesday agreed to seek bids for replacement of some cell doors and gates in the county jail.

Bids will be advertised June 18 and 25 and opened at 10:30 a.m. July 25. It’s expected to take 12-18 months to complete the work because the doors have to be ordered, and the county will have to work around the contractor’s schedule.

The bid package will include 27 interior doors on the cells, one exterior replacement door and nine gates, which lead into the cell blocks. The commissioners previously set a $1 million maximum for the expense.

The jail also will undergo some plumbing work, including replacement of some lavatory faucets. Those bids are expected to be advertised for and opened in late July, too.

Separately, Heldman said the radio enhancement project in the sheriff’s dispatch area will cost about $324,277 after a $36,030 reduction was recently received for the department.

But that savings will be spent on an additional expense for a records management software system for the sheriff’s office, which will coordinate with a similar system being installed for the Findlay Police Department. That will allow personnel of both departments, while on patrol, to be able to check the status of either city or county residents stopped by either department.

The county’s share of nearly $400,000 for the system is being funded via payments last year and this year. Heldman said he recently was informed about a $38,806 additional expense to allow an electronic-citation system use in vehicles. It will cost about $15,000 additional for vehicle equipment to connect the system, too. The system will update instantly.

Also, Heldman said there is about 30-45 days left to order 2019 sheriff’s vehicles before the county will have to pay a higher price for 2020 models. The department has received an estimate of $31,389 per Dodge SUV and the county will have to seek bids. The department would like to replace four vehicles this year.

Separately, the commissioners approved an agreement to allow Helms and Sons Excavating, Findlay, to utilize county-owned property at the northwest corner of South Blanchard Street and East Main Cross Street for staging equipment and materials.

The company will be installing a 16-inch waterline in the area beginning about Saturday.

The commissioners approved about $6,520 in reimbursable expenses to the conservancy district and a $86,153 bill from Helms and Sons Excavating, Findlay, for work done on the “benching” project to widen the north bank of the Blanchard River and reduce flooding in the downtown area.

Flood-reduction funds, previously generated from a 10-year sales tax which expired at year-end 2018, are being used for conservancy district expenses and the $6.1 million widening effort by the excavation company.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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