The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved the final designs for the jail renovations.

Sheriff John Wallace has requested that the third floor of the jail be transformed into a women's floor. The jail capacity is 93, but Wallace said the inmate population is typically more than 100. The renovations would provide 16 to 20 additional beds.

The final design plans call for the installations of skylights on the third floor to comply with Indiana Department of Correction standards. The bathrooms on the third floor also will be changed to have stainless steel fixtures, which are more expensive but also more durable, Wallace said. Under the plan, the dispatch center will be moved to the second floor.

The project has an estimated price tag of $150,000 to $175,000.

The 3-0 vote to approve the final design allows the county to begin seeking construction bids, although the Jefferson County Council ultimately must approve the appropriations, which would come from the jail cumulative fund.

During the meeting Thursday, the council also approved a contract with Canteen Service Co. of Kentuckian to provide food and vending services for the jail. Wallace said his only stipulation was that the company keep the current kitchen employees in the transition, which will take place July 14.

The motion passed 2-0, with Julie Berry abstaining from the vote. Berry did not cast a vote because she said a relative works for the company.

Wallace said the new contract, which is based on a per-meal cost, will save the county $75,000 to $80,000 a year. In addition to the contract, the jail has started a garden to help offset cafeteria costs. The garden is maintained by the inmates.

In other business:

• The commissioners adopted two new mandates regarding conflicts of interest among local government employees. The county already has a conflict-of-interest policy in place, but the state's version is more expansive and addresses nepotism in local government.

One of the new statutes bars local officeholders from directly overseeing a relative, unless the relative was employed before the person took office. The other mandate is that the county commissioners or County Council members must disclose if they have family ties to an individual or individuals of a company the county conducts business with. The notice must come before the expenditure is made.

The law defines a relative as a spouse, parent or step parent, child, step child, brother, sister, step brother, step sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, daughter-in-law or son-in-law.

The commissioners passed the motion 3-0, though there were some concerns. Commissioner Tom Pietrykowski said because Jefferson County is a small community, he is "wary" of some of the conflicts the new mandates might bring when selecting contracts. Commissioners Berry and Mark Cash both agreed.

• Auditor Celeste Reed reported that the county auction raised more than $8,600. The county auctioned items salvaged from the Courthouse fire in 2009. Pietrykowski said every Courthouse item entered into the auction was purchased, with the exception of the beams.

• As requested by the Indiana State Board of Accounts, the commissioners agreed to switch county employees' paydays to the second and fourth Friday of each month. Employees currently get paid every other week. The new payment information will be included in the revised employee handbooks.