A picture of the Knox County Service Center building

Knox County Service Center. File photo. 

MOUNT VERNON — Capt. William Shaffer of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said reconfiguring the jail dorms to accommodate more female inmates should be complete by the end of the month.

In addition to a new dorm door, renovations include replacing porcelain toilets with stainless steel ones and stripping and waxing floors. When Modern Builders finishes the renovations, the jail will accommodate up to 24 female inmates.

The dorms are closed during renovations. Of the 92 inmates on Aug. 31, 29 are housed out. Shaffer said he hopes to have everyone back in-house by the end of September.

The state inspection is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Chief Deputy Jay Sheffer reported that four new 2024 Ford cruisers will cost about $45,000 each. It costs roughly $11,000 to equip each vehicle after purchase.

It takes three to four days to install the equipment. The KCSO will sell the old vehicles on govdeal.com.

The five-year contract for body cams and tasers ends in 2024. A new five-year contract will cost $433,775 and become effective in January.

The contract warrants all of the equipment for the full five years. The price includes a 5% discount if the contract is signed before Sept. 30.

Due to difficulty in finding qualified cadets, the KCSO is considering hiring a cadet and paying for his/her academy training. If the cadet does not stay with the KCSO for a certain length of time, he/she will pay back a percentage of the training cost.

The county prosecutor is reviewing a draft contract with Team Health Group to provide medical services in the jail.

Knox Public Health

Health Commissioner Zach Green reported the number of confirmed or suspected Lyme disease cases has reached 102 as of Sept. 7. That is an increase from last year.

Just under 70 cases were reported/suspected in 2022.

“Lyme disease is very serious, but it’s very treatable,” Green told the commissioners. “The No. 1 symptom we are seeing consistent with Lyme disease is extreme fatigue.”

Green said Knox Public Health staff members are working to educate the community as well as physicians.

“It’s not hard to test for, it’s just educating them to think of it,” he said in reference to physicians.

KPH has the necessary permits for rebuilding at 202 W. Vine St. Construction is on track for completion around the first of the year. The contract completion deadline is Feb. 7, 2024.

The Danville Dental Clinic now offers dental services five days a week at its South Market Street facility.

KPH will not offer drive-thru flu clinics this year at the Knox County Fairgrounds. The Energy Field House is safer, ADA accessible, has plenty of room, and offers a drive-thru option.

“Our highest point of distribution is at that location,” he said.

KPH received a $150,000 grant to help property owners who need to repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems. Funding amounts depend on the size of the household and income.

KPH submitted the first application last week. Green encourages residents to contact the health department at 740-392-2200 for more information.

Green said homeowners who have to tap into a public system because their system is failing can potentially use the money.

KPH is exploring wastewater surveillance for the SARS/COV2 virus. “It does not appear to be additional effort, it’s just one more thing to test for,” Green said.

Recent actions

The commissioners took the following actions between Aug. 31 and Sept. 14:

•Approved a proposal of $59,160 from K.E. McCartney & Associates for engineering services for the Danville-Amity Road safety improvement project Phase 2

•Granted a right-of-way easement for DEL-CO on Updike and Columbus roads parcel number 17050031.000, 32.92 acres

•Approved the Type 2 annexation of 4.325 acres in Clinton Township into the City of Mount Vernon. The Knox County Historical Society owns the acreage

•Approved notice to bid for the Beckley Road (Twp Rd 401, Morris Twp) bridge replacement. The project consists of removing an existing steel bridge and constructing a three-span steel beam bridge with an integral concrete deck.

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