“I’m convinced this is the right way to fund it,” Perales said. “It may be an option to build something smaller, but that’s more short term. We can only put band-aids on it, and meanwhile the cost of construction is astronomical.”
Looking at alternative revenue sources, the county already applied for state capital improvement grant funding for county jails in June, and was not selected.
“It doesn’t change our need. That need still exists and how we move forward will be up to the commissioners,” jail administrator Major Kirk Keller said.
The commissioners and the sheriff’s office may convene as early as this week to discuss their plans to move forward. In the meantime, Keller says his staff will continue to work with what they’ve got.
“It affects them daily. We’ll keep doing the best we can, managing the best we can but I’m not sure how much longer we can keep kicking this can down the road. The question is how it gets done,” he said.
The current Greene County jail was built in 1969, and the Adult Detention Center in 2000. The new jail would have included the sheriff’s administrative offices, which are currently in a former Ford dealership dating to 1929. Greene County is under a 32-year federal consent decree prohibiting jail overcrowding.