By Nancy Bowman
The Miami County commissioners are trying to get a better picture of what is needed to meet surveillance camera and access control needs for county facilities but primarily the downtown jail in Troy and the county Incarceration Facility between Troy and Piqua.
The commission is seeking to provide an updated access control system and cameras for the jails along with the county engineer's office and the Eldean Road Covered Bridge.
An estimate for a project of more than $3 million surprised commissioners and Sheriff Dave Duchak, who had anticipated a project costing considerably less.
To get better information on what is needed the commission subsequently hired Heapy Engineering of Dayton for $29,700 for a limited service contract. They will go through the facilities and compile a written report of what their engineers think is needed to meet county needs as far as cameras and other security related equipment.
Duchak said last spring that replacement of the jail cameras was "imperative - for security of staff and inmates." The existing camera systems are nearly 20 years old.
After receiving the $3 million plus estimate from Heapy Engineering, the commissioners met with firm representatives and then discussed the project at a commission work session.
The representatives said the estimate included all aspects of a project and likely would be on the high-end cost wise to avoid any surprises down the road. In the discussion, the representatives said they had toured the facilities but did not have an inventory of all cameras. Estimates they provided on the number of cameras likely to be needed at the jail facilities were larger than those estimated by the jail staff, the commission was told.
After the meeting with the company, the commissioners discussed possible options before agreeing to hire the company to first provide numbers on equipment needs.
"We have to find out what we need," said Commissioner Jack Evans. "We heard before we only needed this many cameras. Heapy said this many. Until you have somebody come in and do the survey..."