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With board members told to be optimistic, decisions were delayed in regards to the future of the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio following Friday’s special board meeting.
Officials met in a packed room of the Henry County Emergency Operations Center in Napoleon to discuss options in the event the City of Toledo does not fully pay its $1.389 million final quarterly invoice on Oct. 1. City officials had given such notice last week during a special finance committee meeting. In return, CCNO officials were advised to put a plan together to address the issue that included potential layoffs and, at worst, closing the 25-year-old facility.
Adam Loukx, law department director for the City of Toledo, said he was happy to report that the City of Toledo and Lucas County were close to a resolution. He said the two groups met and made a great deal of progress “but we’re not there yet.” He reminded everyone that the bill is not due until Oct. 1 but that he could provide some high degree of optimism that a solution would be reached.
Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said that while the word “optimism” was being used by the City of Toledo, he preferred the word “progress”. He said Lucas County has made an offer to the City of Toledo and they are at the brink of reaching an agreement.
Numerous board members said the purpose of the special meeting was to reach a resolution as CCNO was facing a time line with potential layoffs if the City of Toledo failed to meets its Oct. 1 payment.
Officials learned of two options proposed in the event the City of Toledo failed to pay its bill. The first involved closing CCNO by Dec. 1 with $2.6 million in termination costs necessary to cover unemployment costs and paid leave. The second proposal involved reducing beds from 638 to 174 starting Oct. 1. That called for the layoff of 81 CCNO employees. Termination costs were listed at $1.2 million with a $900,000 shortfall created by the end of November. The $900,000 shortfall would then be paid by the remaining paying members.
Officials voiced concern of no other locations to house offenders. They were also reminded that the Lucas County Jail is under a federal court mandate with no room for more offenders.
Officials agreed by a 10 to 2 vote that they would meet on Oct. 2 to decide what action would be taken in the event that the City of Toledo does not pay its bill on Oct. 1. Defiance County Commissioner Otto Nicely and Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller cast the no votes.
CCNO attorney Marc Fishel said the board will need to decide at the Oct. 2 meeting if there will be any layoffs at the jail facility as well as what action would be taken if the City of Toledo fails to pay its bill.
CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis reminded officials that the mission of CCNO is to protect the public, employees and inmates. “We do not want to lose sight of the people we are protecting. This is critical.”
Board members did move ahead with the allocation of beds for 2016 which received opposing votes from the City of Toledo. Bed allocations remained the same with 203 for Lucas County; 228 for the City of Toledo; 37 for Henry County; 55 for Fulton County; 60 for Defiance County and 55 for Williams County.
Page last updated November 09, 2017