BARTON COUNTY, Mo. — The Barton County Jail in Lamar is getting close to housing inmates again.

It closed this past June due to numerous cosmetic, electrical, and plumbing issues. Then came a shortage of detention officers which prompted the decision to move inmates to the Cedar County Jail in Stockton.

Most of the repairs have been made and, yes, the outside and inside of the cells have been painted pink.

Officials are currently in the process of hiring more detention officers, so the jail can, once again, safely house inmates. So there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The tunnel’s still pretty long. We can see the light, but until we have more staff, we won’t be able to repoen. Four, if we have four full-time jailers we’ll cover all but one shift a week and we figure we can cover that with a part-time,” said John Simpson, Barton County Sheriff.

An additional detention officer has been hired. He started this week.

Sheriff Simpson wants to hire two more before reopening the jail.