“We’re all dressed up and nowhere to go,” said Judge-Executive Mike Mitchell as he was giving an update on the new Knox County Detention Center at November’s Fiscal Court meeting. 

“We checked on the progress of the detention center yesterday and the engineers (from the Department of Corrections) are working on some technical difficulties with the automated smoke evacuation system.” 

While reports of issues are delaying the opening of the new jail, Doug Smith of Codell Construction confirmed “Engineers will test every single piece of equipment in the building to ensure everything is running properly. The only reason we’re not occupied is the new smoke evacuation system. It’s completely automated and it takes the place of sprinklers systems in the cells. Rather than spraying water when a fire erupts, it [the smoke evacuation system] will turn on exhaust fans and heat pumps to provide air for them to breathe down low. We have over 230 automated dampers on this system. So, it will definitely take a while to get the system commissioned. As long as the Department of Corrections is happy with everything, we will be all set to occupy.” 

Mitchell concluded, “We are in deep anticipation of someday getting this jail.”  

In other news, the Fiscal Court approved:

  • Knox County Attorney Gilbert Holland’s delinquent tax report
  • Knox County Court Treasurer’s report
  • Authorization for Cumberland Valley Housing Authority to take Fox Wood Drive
  • Knox Central High School librarian Sherry Faulkner’s request. Faulkner requested Library Lane in Stinking Creek to be changed from a county/city road to a private driveway. The Fiscal Court approved this change after holding a public hearing on the request.
  • New Hires at the new Knox County Detention Center: full time deputy jailer Miranda Martin, part time jailer Seth Bingham, full time jailer Darrel J. Smith, full time jailer James Partin.
  • Reimbursement funding for the roadway reconstruction project on Elly Hollow Road (by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and LPA Inc.).
  • Budget transfers
  • Claims

Before the meeting wrapped up, Knox County Court Clerk Mike Corey addressed the fiscal court, saying “Judge, I would like to thank the fiscal court for their assistance in making the November 5, 2019 election a success. I appreciate all your efforts concerning us.” He added, “The process went very smooth, the smoothest one we ever had!” 

Mitchell replied, “You’re welcome! We’re glad to work with you.” He added, “That election is a hard process to pull off… a lot of work goes into it. I appreciate you and your staff for doing it.”

Requests for an update on the jail’s construction costs were unanswered as of press time Tuesday.

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