Belmont County taking steps to expand jail

Special to the Enterprise

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont County officials are looking into expanding the county jail. 

The plan is to add on to the current facility and the sheriff's office just applied for over $23 million in grant funding. 

When the jail was first built in 1996, the finalized facility had 84 beds but that wasn't enough then and it's not now, according to officials. 

A new wing was added on in 2008 increasing the capacity to 144 beds which it currently holds. 

Pre-pandemic, the jail housed almost 190 inmates. And looking to the future, county commissioners agree an expansion is needed.

County commissioners passed a resolution last week to allow the sheriff's office to apply for $23.9 million of grant funding from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.