Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims is shown during a 2017 meeting with the county commissioners on a new jail. Today, Sims expressed impatience with progress on the project during a meeting with the commissionenrs and the new architect on the job. STAFF / LAWRENCE BUDD

Warren County sheriff wants faster action on new jail building

Sims called for quick action after listening to the architect hired to design the estimated $50 million facility lay out the options. Those still range from renovation and expansion, to replacement of the facility in the county government complex in Lebanon, to new construction on a new site on the edge of Lebanon.

RELATED: After delay, Warren County moves ahead with construction of new jail

Asked when he wanted to get started, Sims answered, “Last September.”

That was when the commissioners hired KZF Design, a Cincinnati firm that planned to collaborate with California-based Dewberry on the project, rather than Wachtel & McAnally, another Ohio-based firm favored by Sims and a committee set up to rate candidates for the job.

But negotiations broke down and the commissioners authorized negotiations with Wachtel & McAnally last month.

It has been more than two years since a Cleveland-based consultant presented the commissioners a study of the need for a new jail.

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In January, the county sales tax has been increased 0.25 percent to cover financing of the project.

After today’s presentation to the commissioners, Wachtel & McAnally was meeting with Sims and his staff to weigh the options.

The architect was expected to come back to the commissioners with a recommendation as the county moved to pick a construction manager for the project.