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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Floor plan: Fixing problem with surface could lead to opening of new Carter jail

July 27th, 2011 12:07 am by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — Workers were busy on Tuesday repairing the floors in one cell of the new Carter County Jail, attempting to satisfy county officials who are displeased with damage done to the floors during construction.
Gouges, stains and discolored sections to floors appear to be the biggest remaining problem to closing out construction, when the county will accept the $26 million facility. It could be awhile before the floor problem is solved.
Chief Deputy Ron Street said the workers are sanding down and scoring the finished surface, then refinishing the floors in a small area to see if the work can be satisfactory to the county. If the county does find the repairs to be satisfactory, crews will go on to make repairs on the rest of the jail’s floors.
Street said the damage was done to the floors during construction and are widespread throughout the jail, but especially bad on the first floor.
Street is determined to see the problems corrected before the county accepts the building, especially since the floors in the old jail sparkle in comparison with the damaged floors in the new jail. In addition to the problems to the floors, Street has taken the time to take a close look at other areas where he found things were not done right.
He is dedicated enough that Street spent his Fourth of July holiday going through the hot building, making a list of all the things that needed to be corrected.
“It is mostly just final touch-up issues,” Street said of his most recent punch list. “Its things like leaving a part of a wall unpainted, or the caulking being left out of a security light, a broken glass pane.
The principal contractor, Blaine Construction Co., has been working off Street’s punch list, but the chief deputy plans to make another inspection.
The time for the transition is approaching and Street is making detailed plans for the move from the old jail to the new jail. One of his major concerns is getting new jailers trained. The recommended increase in jail personnel is 37 additional employees. To get them all trained at the least cost, Street is working with the Tennessee Corrections Institute to have an instructor brought to Elizabethton instead of sending so many students to a school down state.

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