MARIETTA - The Washington County commissioners on Thursday approved new contracts for medical services at the county jail, providing increased coverage while taking some duties away from corrections officers.
Dr. Michael Brockett will be the jail's new medical director at an annual rate of $23,400. Marietta Ambulance Service will provide paramedics or licensed practical nurses for 12-hour daily shifts, giving the jail a medical person on-site 84 hours a week, compared to 15 under the previous agreement with the Memorial Health System.
That arrangement cost the sheriff's office about $52,000 a year, Sheriff Larry Mincks said. The new one includes a lower hourly rate than the one paid to Memorial's LPNs, but the expanded hours mean the overall cost will be greater, at $82,992.
"This is going to cover a lot more than it was before," Mincks said.
Having medical personnel at the jail longer should decrease the number of ambulance runs to the hospital, the sheriff said. That costs the department an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 a year.
The Marietta Ambulance personnel will take on some duties currently handled by correction officers, lessening the burden on an understaffed group, Mincks said.
Jail Medical Contracts
Medical director: Dr. Michael Brockett, $23,400.
Medical services: Marietta Ambulance Service, $82,992.
"They're going to be ordering, inventorying and dispensing all the drugs," he said.
The contract with Marietta Ambulance is for one year, with a 60-day opt-out clause.
Both contracts were approved by 2-0 votes, with Commissioner Steve Weber absent.
In other business:
* Commissioners Tim Irvine and Cora Marshall voted to approve temporary and permanent easements to facilitate the City of Marietta's efforts to strengthen a riverbank along Jefferson Street.
Eric Lambert, project manager with the city engineer's office, said there is a sewer main along that bank and two manholes, which could be jeopardized if the riverbank deteriorates. The easements are needed to provide access for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which plans to place rock in the river to allow sediment to build up against the bank to reinforce it.
The Corps will have to construct a "haul road" to meet the incline specifications. Lambert said that could affect the terrain of the River Trail bicycle and pedestrian path in that area, but the bank's stability was his primary concern.
The commissioners agreed to waive certain requirements, including an appraisal of the land, due to time constraints on the project. The details must be finalized before the end of the month because the federal program providing money for the Corps' share will not be funded next year.
"That (appraisal) would push us past the timeline, and the funding would evaporate, and then we would have to go out and seek additional money," Lambert said.
The project carries a $411,000 cost, with the city's sewer fund covering the $144,000 local share.
* The commissioners accepted a $1,132,372 bid from the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating Co. to replace the Archers Fork bridge on County Road 14 in Lawrence Township near Lawrence Elementary School. The design phase of the project will begin this fall, and construction will take place while school is out in the summer of 2013.
* The commissioners accepted a $21,000 proposal from Marietta-based DLH Design to write specs and manage the projects replacing generators in the courthouse and at the Washington County Home.
"Those generators had lots of problems during the recent electrical outage (in late June and early July), so we're going to replace both of them," Irvine said.