Wednesday morning the holding cell in Marion County held a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off their grand opening. They actually thought of this idea after Mon County turned one of their old jails into a holding cell. This new facility is going to help the Sheriffs Department as well as the community.
Before this conversion, the Sheriff's Department only had access to a transport facility. If someone they arrested didn't post bond they needed to be transported immediately to the regional jail. With this conversion they can now be held for six to eight hours.
"We actually call out one or two transport officers every time we make an arrest. This way we'll be able to hold these people here if they can't make bond and we'll just do one transport at a given time," said Chief Deputy L. Wright, Marion County Sheriff's Department.
This isn't just helping the Sheriff's Department, it is also saving tax payers money by cutting back on transport trips. The facility is also creating a few more jobs in the community as well.
"With opening the holding facility we're going to need people to man that and we are in the process of hiring people and in the future it will be a 24 hour facility so it will create jobs for the county," said Chief Deputy L. Wright.
The holding cells in Marion County are new but the facility itself is not. The bones and skeleton of the building are from their old jail that was fully functional.
"The saving of this jail was important to us because it's kind of a center piece to what we have hear at downtown Fairmont," said Randy Elliott, County Commission President.
The people involved in saving this jail from being torn down actually were awarded 'The Most Significant Save' in the state of West Virginia. The building is not only a holding cell, but part of the historical museum.
"We have worked in the historical society on the third floor. We have cooperated with them to make that part of the historical society tour. It's the most popular stop in the entire tour is coming in the turn of the century jail to see how the cells were redone up there as they were in the late 1800s," said Randy Elliott.