Improvements Expected at Clinton County Prison

MCELHATTAN -- A major renovation project is planned for the Clinton County prison. The county plans to upgrade kitchen equipment and an outdated security system.

When we stopped by the prison Wednesday, we found out why several things need to be upgraded at the facility soon.

The nurses' suite at the Clinton County Correctional Facility in McElhattan is in a cellblock, but that could soon change. The county prison board just announced a $3.6 million renovation and improvement project.

"As we move forward with our renovation project, this will then go back to a four-unit cellblock that can be used for specialty cases," said Clinton County Commissioner Jeff Snyder.

"This facility is functioning, but it needs to be upgraded significantly,” said Warden John Rowley.

Rowley showed us plans for the improvements which should begin in the spring. The project includes improvements to the security system, heating and air conditioning, and the kitchen.

What the county really wants is to help prevent inmates from coming back to jail. It's why they are adding space for their treatment programs.

"And they don't come back or commit other crimes that keep that addiction going for each and every one. The taxpayers save $20,000 to $25,000 dollars a year," Rowley said.

The county plans to borrow money for the improvements but expects state funding will help pay for most of the costs.

"It is the hope of the county commissioners that we can do this project without any increase to our taxpayers," Snyder said.

The county hopes the improvements to the facility in McElhattan will be done by the end of 2017.

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