The Mineral County Jail is open once again after being closed for nearly two years.
Mineral County's new Sheriff, Mike Toth, made reopening the jail his number one priority since swearing in last August.
The jail was built in 1995 but had to close its doors in 2019 dues to staffing issues. Overtime, not having a jail in the county was starting to take a toll.
"We were spending so much money shipping people outside the county to house them," Sheriff Toth said, "We'd pay daily rates to house them, plus transport. Anytime we had court or anything we would have to go get them and bring them back. And with a small staff it was killing us."
So Sheriff Toth decided rather than spending money on other counties he would hire more folks right there in superior to run the jail.
Now with new staff running the old jail, Toth is also looking at updating the security systems.
"There is technology out there where you can put readers by each door for patrols and check ins," Toth explained, "And there is a smart phone looking device the guard would carry around with him and when he checks the door he would have to scan it 'beep' and that would show me yes he checked this cell."
Increasing security and keeping the workers accountable.
But finances and upgrades aren't the only obstacles Mineral County faces, opening a jail during a pandemic has its own hurdles.
"When prisoners come in there is a questionnaire we ask them, their temp is taken, they are offered a mask if they want one, right now Mineral County doesn't have a mask mandate but if the prisons want a mask we will give them one," Toth said.
And if someone is showing symptoms they have a plan for that too.
"We have a cell block that is for isolation," Toth explained, "and if we need to move them over there we could keep them there for the 14 days and they would be isolated from every body else."
So far the jail hasn't had to deal with any COVID issues but sheriff Toth tells me they're working closely with the local hospital to ensure prisoners can get tested and treated if needed.