Baxter County jail expansion completion planned for November

By Scott Liles
Baxter Bulletin

The construction project expanding the Baxter County Detention Center is estimated to be completed in late November, Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said Tuesday night.

Construction on the jail’s expansion is expected to be completed during the first week of September, with the new wing being used to house the jail’s current population for 60 to 90 days while contractors remodel the interior of the current jail. Once that remodel is completed, the expanded jail will be capable of holding about 150 inmates.

The population of the 100-bed jail regularly tops the century mark, and as of Friday afternoon held 122 inmates.

“The weather has kind of put us behind,” Montgomery said. “The latest word (on the expansion’s completion) is somewhere around the first of September. We’ll have another progress meeting towards the end of July to hopefully firm that up.”

The Baxter County Quorum Court on Tuesday night approved the creation of six additional detention center-related jobs to help fill out the jail’s staff. Justices of the peace approved the creation of a second jail sergeant position, a jail secretary position and four additional jailers. When hired, the six additional workers will give the jail 25 employees.

All of the positions will first be advertised internally to county employees for five days. Any positions remaining unfilled after the internal advertising will then be advertised publicly.

“We have some part-time folks right now that may be interested,” Montgomery said. “Anything that is not filled internally, we’ll open to the public.”

The jail’s two sergeants would work opposite shifts, helping to ensure that a sergeant was always on duty at the jail. The jail secretary would be a new position created to handle a lot of the paperwork presently handled by jail supervisors. READ MORE.

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