Update on domestic violence shelter project

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(Posted April 19, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Though the contract is being reworked, plans are still in place to start construction next month on a new domestic violence shelter to serve Madison County.

In December, the county commissioners approved a plan to build a county-run shelter. The Victim Witness Division of the county Prosecutor’s Office will manage the facility, which will be located in London.

The commissioners are running the construction project though Madison County Future Inc., the county’s community improvement corporation (CIC). The CIC will serve as the project manager for the shelter construction.

Originally, the commissioners planned to sign a 10-year lease-to-buy contract with CIC. However, project organizers recently learned that different contract terms would give the county a better chance at securing a state grant that would help to cover the rent payments, along with furnishings, supplies, and staffing costs.

On April 16, county Prosecutor Stephen Pronai informed the commissioners that the Ohio Attorney General’s Office recommended that rather than a lease-to-buy agreement, the contract should be for a lease with an option to buy or to extend the lease.

Brooke Musselman, victim advocate with the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, explained that the state has specific requirements for what their grants can cover. The commissioners gave Rob Slane, county administrator, approval to make the change and present the amended contract to the CIC.

Musselman said the application for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant is due at the end of June. She said the Prosecutor’s Office plans to ask for $300,000 to $400,000. If the grant is awarded, funds should be available starting this fall. The grant is renewable annually.

“Our goal is that the shelter would be done by October,” Musselman said.

Construction plans are ready to go for the four-bedroom facility, which will operate around the clock once it is up and running. The bond for the building construction will be $300,000. Slane said the actual cost to construct the building should come in under that amount.

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