JAY - Members of a committee exploring options for an overcrowded Delaware County Jail voted last week to pursue a feasibility study.

A motion to discuss the matter of a feasibility study appeared on the Delaware County Commission agenda for Monday. It isn't listed as an action item.

The jail committee voted to direct the commission to hire Ben Graves to perform the feasibility study, the only architect who has made a presentation to the group thus far.

Cecile Bales, a committee member who also served during the last jail construction, said during previous meetings she favored calling in the previous engineering firm to give a presentation on the feasibility study.

However, Bales wasn't at this week's meeting, as she hadn't returned from attending former President Gerald Ford's funeral.

Committee members didn't discuss the cost of a feasibility study.

The jail committee is exploring building a $7.5 million facility utilizing a one cent sales tax for construction and a half cent set aside for future maintenance, once the building is paid in full.

Such a move would have to be confirmed by a vote of the people.

The county has until April to present a plan to state officials that addresses jail overcrowding. If a solution isn't reached, the state jail inspector has issued an administrative order indicating fines will be $500 per offense per day.

During his September 2006 visit, the jail inspector found five offenses, including the jail over capacity by 19 inmates.

Chairman of the jail committee, James Graves (no relation to Ben Graves), may have to relinquish that post due to ill health of a family member, secretary Becki Farley advised the group.