ADA — A hearing concerning the progress made by Pontotoc County in resolving the substandard county jail conditions scheduled for Dec. 14 was postponed until Jan. 8, 2007, according to District Judge Thomas Landrith. District Attorney Bill Peterson worked out a continuance with the state’s attorney after the county sales tax election passed to fund building a new jail.

By passing the sales tax proposition, the county averted action from the state in the form of fines for failed inspections of the jail or possibly closing the jail.

“The inspectors are scheduled to meet with the county commissioners in Ada on Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. primarily to see what the county will do about the current jail operations to make it more liveable until the new jail is built,” said Ken Johnson, attorney for Pontotoc County.

“The building sweats,” said County Commissioner Gary Starns. “The mold that continues to plague the walls all through the jail. We think we’ve fixed the air circulation problems in the womens’ cells. The fan in the heating and air system failed.”

“Fixing the circulation should improve the mold situation,” said Pontotoc County Sheriff Pete Peterson. Peterson said the current inmate count of 62 exceeds the maximum for the jail by 20.

“The board of commissioners is scheduled to meet with bondsmen on Jan. 15,” Starns said. “We will have a meeting to discuss the building location options on the 21st at the courthouse. The sales tax collection will begin on April 1, 2007, and we will start seeing the money come to the county on June 1. We are planning to begin construction July 1, 2007.”

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