The new Warren County jail is expected to be built near the existing facilities in the county government complex in Lebanon, according to the county commissioners who are to make the decision.
Talk of instead building a new jail off Ohio 63 and Markey Road on Lebanon’s west side at last Tuesday’s meeting prompted a backlash, according to Commissioner Dave Young.
The land is near expensive new homes and the city’s western gateway, expected to see development for homes and businesses in coming decades.
On Friday, Young said he, Sheriff Larry Sims and a group put together to advise the commissioners met with the jail architect after the public discussion with the commissioners.
“My primary goal is to build the new facility contiguous to the existing one. And I think we’re going to be able to do it,” Young said.
Young said architects Wachtel & McAnally were tasked with developing a different plan, opening up space in the complex by razing maintenance garages.
Sims has been pressing for a new facility for two years. Last week, he said “Last September” when asked when he wanted to begin designing the new facility.
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On Monday, commissioners Tom Grossmann and Shannon Jones agreed the county complex seemed like the best place for the $50 million jail expected to hold more than 450 inmates and provide adequate space for decades.
“I’m not considering anything else,” said Grossmann, while holding out for a design that would enable future expansion.
“I don’t want to create a problem in the future,” he said.
Jones joined the other two commissioners in favoring the complex area, but said she awaited the architect’s design and plans for relocating the maintenance facilities.
“With every action, there’s a reaction,” she said.
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