Modular cells to be studied further Commissioners to tour Pa. jail

June 16, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll commissioners said yesterday they will continue to research whether modular jail cells are a cheaper alternative to building an addition at the county detention center.

"I'm leaning very strongly toward it," Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said.

Today, he and Commissioner Donald I. Dell plan to tour a modular jail being built in Greencastle, Pa. They also said they want to look at modular cells being used in Montgomery County.

On Friday, Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy toured a modular cell at the Queen Anne's County Detention Center in Centreville.

The Carroll County Detention Center needs 80 more beds. The jail at 100 N. Court St. now has 120 beds but often is crowded.

The commissioners began looking at the cells after bids to build an addition came in in January $1 million higher than expected.

County officials had estimated that an 80-bed addition plus some renovations to the existing jail would cost $2.2 million. The 16 bids received for the project ranged from $3 million to $3.5 million.

The state has agreed to pay 53.45 percent of the cost of the project.

Mr. Lippy said the county could save as much as $1.5 million by using modular cells.

Yesterday, two representatives from Cells America Inc., a Baltimore company that makes modular cells and that sold Queen Anne's County its cell, talked with county officials about the project.

The commissioners asked company president Sal Sabatino to look at county plans for the expansion and figure out whether modular cells would work and how much they would cost.

"I want the bottom line as a commissioner," Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said.

"We may go with modular cells if they meet all the [building] codes," Mr. Dell said.

Carroll Sheriff John H. Brown has said he does not favor modular cells, but is willing to consider them.

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