Commissioner Dick Gould said the exact cost was also difficult to determine due to the fluctuating costs of lumber and construction materials.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office says the current jail does not allow for space for mental health needs, nor does it have adequate space for inmates to visit with family.
Keller said he believes the deterioration of the jail is also leading more people to quit their jobs at the sheriff’s office, affecting their retention of employees.
On Thursday, several Greene County residents called for more mental health and addiction services in the county.
Janis James, a Xenia resident, said she would like to see plans from the county about what mental health and addiction treatment Greene County residents would see in the new jail.
“We’re not getting to the core issue,” she said. “Why do they keep showing up?”
David Hayes, Greene County prosecutor, said he supported the sheriff’s need for a new jail. He said the state of Ohio does not provide adequate funding for mental health.
Greta Mayer, CEO of the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties, said it was important to talk about the partnership between the mental health system and the courts currently happening.
“I think the conversation up until this point, which I feel like we’re at a tipping point, has been it is either a new jail or we spend money for services,” she said. “And I really think it’s both, and. We need both.”
Greene County residents voted down a levy in April 2020 that would have imposed a 12-year, 0.25% sales tax to pay for a new, 500-bed jail. County leaders contend a new jail is still needed and revised the plans to have fewer beds.