Inmates and staff members at the Washington County Jail recently completed an extensive paintjob at the jail.
In early 2018, Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak authorized jail maintenance staff members to begin the painting process in the near 30-year-old facility. In addition to staff members Shawn Hale and Gerald and Laurie Wehring, jail inmates took part in this project and finalized work in early December.
Work consisted of removing all old paint from the floors, walls, and ceilings of the jail, and replacing them with fresh paint. Maintenance workers also began removing the original fluorescent lighting and replacing them with LED lighting in an attempt to reduce utility costs.
According to Sheriff Hanak, a bid received for work of this type, while not including the entire jail, was estimated at $314,000. In comparison, the cost for painting supplies used by staff members and inmates totaled just over $14,253. Hanak said labor from staff and inmates saved county taxpayers almost $300,000 with this paint project alone.
The jail, with a total capacity of 177 beds, has passed random jail inspections for the past seven years. Sheriff Hanak said the Sheriff’s Office is routinely complimented by state jail inspectors and visitors for keeping the jail appearance clean and sanitary, having safety factors installed to prevent staff and inmate injuries, and reducing taxpayer liability involved. He said this accomplishment could not be realized if not for the dedicated staff members assigned to the jail division.
Sheriff Hanak believes that preventative maintenance such as the latest upgrades, as well as the continued dedication and hard work of staff members within the jail, will hopefully allow it to remain operating in an efficient and effective manner well into the future.