FARMINGTON — Nearly six years after the Franklin County Detention Center was declared a 72-hour holding facility by the state, the jail reopened Monday as a fully operational jail.

The state Department of Corrections issued a license to the county Friday that was effective Monday, jail manager Maj. Doug Blauvelt said.

Ryan Andersen, state DOC compliance manager, hand-delivered the license on Friday.

It is the first time since July 1, 2009, that inmates who are serving county sentences or are being held prior to going to trial will be able to remain in the Franklin County jail longer than 72 hours.

The jail changed missions when the state consolidated county jails effective July 1, 2009. Up until Monday, when inmates could not make bail within 72 hours or were sentenced to less than one year in jail, they were taken to the Somerset County Jail in Madison.

During the past few years, Somerset County stopped taking other counties’ inmates because of a funding dispute with the state, Franklin County inmates had to be taken to other jails and prisons, some more than an hour away.

Franklin County inmates will be moved back to the jail this week, Blauvelt said.

“It has been a lot of hard work on everybody’s part. It was a team effort,” he said.

The jail is licensed for 39 inmate beds, about 10 more than it had a license for  previously.

“I never gave up hope. This was the right thing for the people of Franklin County,” Blauvelt said.

Franklin County residents rallied in support of the jail returning to full service in 2013 and attended public hearings before the state Board of Corrections. The board denied the county’s request in September 2013.

In January, the Board of Corrections asked Franklin County to reopen to help with overcrowding in the jail system.

Since then, renovations have been done to create a minimum security area in a former multipurpose room, among other physical alterations. Medical, mental and educational services have been contracted and new jail personnel hired.

“We are all very excited. The entire staff worked very hard to make it happen,” Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said.

One of the promises he made when he was running for sheriff in 2012 was to get the jail returned to its former status and it finally happened, he said.

One of the reasons it happened so quickly, he said, was because they kept the jail ready to reopen, he said.

“It is kind of nice to have a real jail,” Nichols said.

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