Fayette OKs seeking new temporary women's jail site
Fayette County commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to advertise for a new location for a temporary women's jail.
The ads will be placed when specifications for the proposed temporary annex have been devised and all three commissioners review and approve them, according to the resolution presented by Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink.
The decision was made a week after the board indicated a building at 32 Iowa St. no longer appears feasible for the annex. The commissioners had concerns over flooding at the one-story structure and an estimated $350,000 in renovations needed at the site.
The temporary women's annex has been proposed to ease crowding at the county's existing jail until a proposed $32 million facility is built. In addition to seeking another site, commissioners will consider whether any county-owned buildings or properties are available for the temporary annex.
Commissioners Al Ambrosini and Vincent Zapotosky voted to hire SGA Financial Advisory Services Inc., also known as Susquehanna Group of Harrisburg, to guide the county as it seeks funding for the new jail, the annex and an addition to the Children and Youth Services building.
The group's base fee is not to exceed $25,000, but that does not include expenses and additional fees as part of any financing options approved by the county, according to its proposal.
Zimmerlink opposed the appointment because just last month, at SGA's recommendation, Ambrosini and Zapotosky voted to advertise for bank proposals for a $10 million tax-exempt loan for the same projects. The rest of the money was to be borrowed in increments over two years.
Zimmerlink said the county is capable of reviewing any financing options on its own to determine which would work best and be the most cost effective.
Ambrosini said SGA's expertise is needed because financing options can be complicated and contain hidden costs.
“That's why it's important for us to acquire services from an expert,” Ambrosini said, noting the firm's $25,000 fee could ultimately save millions of dollars.
In an unrelated matter, Ambrosini and Zapotosky voted to enter into a contract, pending review by county solicitors, with Tom Murphy and IBN Inc. of Lower Burrell that calls for IBN to assist with implementation of the fee-based United Parcel Identification system for property records.
Murphy, who is the former recorder of deeds in Westmoreland County, last week told commissioners the UPI indexing system will assign a single number to all transactions pertaining to real estate, making it easier to search them for liens and other information.
Zimmerlink voted against the motion, noting that Murphy's proposal calls for the county to pay him $1 or 10 percent, whichever is higher, for each UPI number for the next five years. The proposal calls for the contract to be automatically renewed annually at the end of the five years, with no option to cancel, she said.
Zimmerlink said Murphy should have provided an estimate of his revenues based on past transactions involving real estate records. She said his fees could prove costly and wanted instead to seek proposals from other companies or to do the work in house.
“There is no way of determining, at this point, how much money will be given to Tom Murphy under this agreement,” Zimmerlink said.
Solicitor Ken Burkley advised against entering into the agreement with the automatic renewal option in place.
Murphy identifies himself in the proposed contract as president of IBN Inc., but the Pennsylvania Department of State's Corporations Bureau has no record of an IBN Inc., said Ron Ruman, a department spokesman.
Murphy did not attend Tuesday's meeting. Contacted by phone after the meeting, he said the corporation is registered with the state and that he would be amenable to Fayette's changes to the contract.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Connellsville councilman’s foresight led to happier trails
- Connellsville hospital, library join to raise autism awareness
- Connellsville boasts connections to Hollywood, history-making athletes
- Connellsville center to host Eggstravaganza
- Serial burglar targets homes in North Union, South Union
- Connellsville companies able to grow, change with the times
- Nobody injured in Connellsville house fire
- Analyst: Connellsville in position to grow with region
- Connellsville Area Community Ministries surpasses Sharing The Harvest Campaign goal
- IQ concerns resurface in Fayette County death sentence appeal
- Businesses expected to breathe new life into Connellsville