Members of the Cheatham County Commission discussed preliminary drawings and other new details on the new jail during their regular meeting via web teleconference on July 20. Kerry McCarver, County Mayor, and members of the Jail Committee said they found out during their recent meeting with officials with Brentwood-based HFR Design that the timetable for bidding out the project was about 18 – 24 months.
Concerns about the project being too large were also brought up during the commission’s regular meeting, and the architectural firm removed approximately 10,000 square feet from preliminary drawings.
Donnie Jordan, Commission Chairman, said the drawings included a space for women in the new jail, but it was a temporary space for the women for the move from the old jail.
Gary Binkley, District 1 Commissioner, said he saw in the preliminary drawings that the medical area was going into the new jail facility, when he was told it was going into the old jail. Binkley said he did not want the new project to “be so expensive we can’t afford it.”
Chris Gilmore, District 3 Commissioner, said one of his main concerns was making sure the facility met state and federal requirements. “I don’t want us to end up like Montgomery County and end up having to pay on the back side. They had to add two square feet to cells because they did not meet federal guidelines,” Gilmore said.
McCarver stated that state officials and the Tennessee Corrections Institute were working to help guide the county regarding manpower. Under Tennessee law, TCI is required to establish minimum standards for adult local jails, lock-ups, workhouses, and detention facilities in the state.