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Old jail to be leveled in October

The county commission is getting closer to its ultimate goal of being able to demolish the old county jail building in downtown Russellville.
The commission voted Monday to approve bids for cutting five trees down that surround the property on Coffee Avenue.
Sutton’s Tree Service won the project with a bid of $1,850.
The commission also declared an old set of steps on the outside of the structure as surplus property and voted to donate them to the Tharptown Volunteer Fire Department.
“That is something they need and this will help them,” Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore said.
The old jail has been vacant since 2008 when the sheriff’s office moved into its new facility on Walnut Gate Road.
The commission expects demolition of the building to take place in October when highway and solid waste crews can do the work.
Moore said he hopes the work can begin on a Saturday so that it would not interfere with courthouse or judicial business.
“That would keep some of the noise and distractions to a minimum, hopefully,” he said.
Officials hope to salvage the metal from the building and sell it for recycling.
The building opened in the early 1940s and was in continuous use until closing five years ago.
“It is time for us to do something with it and it really serves no purpose now,” Moore said.
The land the building sits on will more than likely be used for parking, officials said.
In other business, the commission:
• hired Andy Fisher as a temporary employee with the solid waste department
• finalized ATRIP projects
• hired Candi Weaver a temporary employee in the revenue commissioner’s office
• voted to accept Hovater’s Metal Works as the lowest bidder on the construction of the new East Franklin Fire Department building
• set Sept. 6 as the purchase order cut off date
• appointed Roy Gober, Chris Hargett and Harland Hutcheson to the 911 board
• appointed Barbara Ayers to the Northwest Regional Library Board.