STRYKER – With Toledo possibly unable to make its payment to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, the future of the jail is in doubt.
Officials at CCNO were told to come up with a plan to deal with Toledo not fully paying their $1.389 million invoice after the City of Toledo gave notice that it may not be able to pay its Oct. 1 bill during Wednesday’s finance committee meeting. Several thoughts on that impact were shared that included layoffs and at worst closing CCNO.
Adam Loukx, law department director for the City of Toledo, told members of the CCNO finance committee that the city is still working on coming up with a plan to pay its $1.389 million invoice for the fourth quarter. He asked that members not leave the meeting with the assumption of gloom and doom. The City of Toledo has not forgotten CCNO; he said but added, “We’re not there yet.”
Williams County Commissioner Al Word said he has been involved with CCNO since its inception and described it as an icon amidst all jails in the nation. He said its policies and operations are in textbooks at the collegiate level. To see its demise will have drastic impact with 200 people losing their jobs, he said.
Loukx said the city was relying on revenues from the rental of its beds when the city gave notice that they would be charging offenders under the Ohio Revised Code, instead of municipal code, making Lucas County responsibility to pay for Toledo’s incarceration fees for offenders charged with Ohio Revised Code offenses. In May CCNO officials changed the CCNO Operating Agreement so that the City of Toledo would be responsible for their 228 beds as always. Loukx said the city recognizes the value of the organization but there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. The city is reviewing their budget for the quarterly bill and is working towards a solution.
Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said Lucas County has offered a stabilization plan to the City of Toledo in regards to jail beds. He added that Lucas County plans to continue paying its bills and to be part of CCNO.
Defiance County Commissioner Otto Nicely said CCNO has been a good marriage for all the jurisdictions involved and can’t beat a better deal at an incarceration cost. But he added that if a jurisdiction wants to house its inmates at CCNO, then it needs to pay its bill.
CCNO staff was instructed to develop a plan to operate in the event the City of Toledo is unable to pay its $1.389 million invoice.
Dennis Sullivan, Director of Security and Operations, said such a plan with only two to three months left in the year would call for reducing the number of available beds down from the current bed capacity of 638 in order to reduce the budget by $1.3 million.
CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis said that CCNO is being used by the members. He said the inmate population has averaged 610 for the past two weeks with six consecutive days of overcrowding. He emphasized that CCNO is part of the criminal justice system and that CCNO needs all members to continue to operate.
Board members agreed to call a special board meeting at 1 p.m. Sept. 25 which will be held at the Henry County Emergency Operations Center in Napoleon to accommodate all county and city officials who wish to attend.
Board members did move ahead with the allocation of beds for 2016 which received an opposing vote 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. Discussions on reserve and capital funds, as well as the draft 2016 operating budget, were tabled.
Information courtesy CCNO