Barry County Commissioners committed to moving forward on how to replace the Barry County Jail and the Commission on Aging building earlier this spring. Now they have some basic information they need to continue discussion on the steps to take for a new jail.
An appraisal on how much the jail property and the Barry Coutny Transit has been received by County Administrator Michael Brown.
In the summary of his report on his inspection and appraisal of the property at 1212 West State Street, John A. Meyers, from the John. A. Meyers Appraisal Company in Grand Rapids, said the market value of the transit and its 1.9 acres, is $700,000 and the nine acres the jail sits on is valued at $1,150,000.
The extremely detailed 82-page report covers 30 different areas that went into the assessment, including description, analysis and supportive data for the conclusions, final estimates of value, photographs, limiting conditions and appropriate certifications. The commissioners said they needed the appraisal as the first step in planning for a jail before they could ask for architect’s drawings, prices or even what the jail would look like.
Other county-owned spaces will be considered, if they might be used, if other offices could or should be moved or if should some be sold.
Commissioners will consider a facilities plan from 2015 and use government organizations that can supply valuable knowledge on what other municipalities have done, or are doing, with replacing jails.
They plan to hire a consulting company with experience in building jails and COA-type buildings, to explain issues with those facilities, but not constructing them. Commissioners agreed they will need a professional facilitator to learn much more and to make recommendations, with them making final decisions on each step of the process.
They are working on the project as a committee of the whole and will not use a steering committee or sub-committee approach.