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Lighting project helps brighten jail exterior

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The lighting outside the Montgomery County Jail is now a lot brighter while shaving thousands from the facility’s electric bill.

Electricians have nearly completed a project to switch out the exterior lights with more energy-saving bulbs. Officers on the night shift have noticed the change, Sheriff Ryan Needham said.

“There is a tremendous difference in that light output,” Needham told members of the Montgomery County Jail Facility Building Corp. on Monday during their annual meeting at the courthouse.

Crews from Crawfordsville’s Hobson Electric will install the rest of the lights after warmer weather arrives, Needham added.

The new bulbs will trim about $2,000 per month from energy costs, with a quarter of the savings going back to the county.

State inspectors were due to arrive Tuesday for the jail’s yearly checkup. The inspection looks at the facility’s cleanliness, staffing and inmate levels, kitchen and food conditions and lighting.

“We always pass with flying colors,” Needham told the board. “I hate to say that the day before, but they come in and they do a pretty thorough inspection on everything.”

The jail had 187 inmates Tuesday morning. Official capacity is 224.

Financially, the jail is up-to-date on its lease, meaning the bond payment can be made to the bond trustee, county attorney Dan Taylor reported.

The building corporation oversees the payments, and members Russ Ruby, Marian Lindow and Roger Kunkel are the longest-serving county appointees. There are four years remaining on the 20-year bond.

The corporation approved a certificate of good standing indicating to the trustees that taxes, insurance premiums and fees have been paid.

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