VALPARAISO | The state has signed off on the renovation of the third wing at the Porter County Jail, further paving the way for the additional unit to open in another six to seven weeks.
All that is now standing in the way is the training of the new jailers, which gets under way Monday, Jail Cmdr. Ron Gaydos said.
Porter County Sheriff Dave Lain told the Porter County Board of Commissioners Tuesday afternoon that the state jail inspector toured the renovated wing and Lain said he receive word Monday that all was found to be in order.
The county has spent $234,073 to renovate the wing that has never been used in the more than 11 years since the jail opened along Ind. 49. The project makes room for 109 more beds, which will relieve overcrowding in the other two sections and bring the jail into compliance with standards and reduces the risk of legal liability.
The jail has a maximum capacity of 454 beds, yet already reaches that number with just two of the three satellite areas open, Lain has said.
In other business Tuesday, the commissioners gave their approval for a request for $20,000 toward the first phase of a high-speed passenger train service between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.
No funding will be paid out, however, unless the county council also signs off on the request.
Porter County Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, said the funding will have to come from a new appropriation of local income tax money, which requires council approval.
The proposed line would include a stop in Valparaiso, which is looking at contributing $50,000 to the project, said Fred Lanahan, president of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association.
The proposed line would create more than 12,000 construction jobs in addition to maintenance jobs and economic development along the line, he said. The service, which would travel along an existing CSX-owned rail line, would offer up to 10 trains in either direction each day.