Council to discuss adding jail beds; City might make deal with county

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 12

Toledo’s criminals might have more beds to call home at the region’s largest jail, if the city council passes a proposed ordinance tomorrow.

The city is allotted 229 beds at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, which houses criminals from jurisdictions throughout the region. For the use of those beds, Toledo pays $43 each per day.

But despite dropping crime rates, Toledo police have been filling those beds and then some for the last year. And for every bed past those 229 filled with Toledo’s criminals, the city pays the higher rate of $65 per bed a day.

The extra beds are a significant expense. In the first three months of 1998, the city used 3,665 extra beds, at a cost of more than $238,000.

The ordinance that the council will consider tomorrow would strike a deal with Lucas County to gain access to some of its unused beds at CCNO – up to 25 a day. The county will provide them to the city on an as-needed basis, and charge only the $43 daily per bed the county already pays for them.

The county has to pay the jail for those beds whether they are used or not, so that money represents an added benefit for the county, officials said, while saving Toledo taxpayers from the higher $65 a bed rate.

Other items on council’s agenda tomorrow:

* A proposed ordinance to spend $150,000 on renovations at the Scott Park district police station.

About $80,000 would go toward buying modular furniture for offices; $60,000 would be used for parking lot repairs.

* The council is expected to settle a claim of damages from Southeastern Equipment Co. of Perrysburg. On Dec. 11, Toledo’s streets, bridges, and harbor division rented a front-end loader from the company to remove snow and ice. The loader was damaged in an accident on the Anthony Wayne Bridge.

The city’s law department has recommended paying $21,880 in damages.

* The council likely will send a bill to reduce the number of job classifications for city employees to a committee. Excluding police and fire personnel, there is a job classification for about every three city employees, according to Dan Hiskey, the city’s assistant chief operating officer.

The proposed ordinance would reduce the number of titles in the city’s exempt classification from 161 to 59 to make management more efficient.

* The council still has several ordinances before it concerning a proposed municipal power plant, but President Peter Ujvagi is expected to ask that any action be delayed for two weeks.

The city is negotiating with Steel Dynamics, Inc., to build a minimill in East Toledo. One of the sticking points has been the high electric rates that Toledo Edison charges.

* Mayor Carty Finkbeiner will issue proclamations honoring Mel Long, the former University of Toledo football standout who was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and to the UT mock trial team, which won a national championship.