Election Date Set for Proposed Delaware Co. Jail Project

jailjpgA public vote on the proposed Delaware County jail project will be held this fall. The County Board of Supervisors has set a special election date for Tuesday, November 4th. Voters will be asked whether or not the County should issue General Obligation Capital Loan Notes not to exceed four-point-nine million dollars for the purpose of reconstructing, enlarging, improving, equipping and furnishing the Delaware County Jail and Sheriff’s Office. The state’s chief jail inspector has visited the current jail facility and cited the County for several security and safety shortfalls, some of which cannot be corrected without renovations or an expansion. Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere says security is the main reason he’s pushing for the jail project, especially after a jail staffer was injured when an inmate escaped two years ago. There are also currently not enough cells to house prisoners – many of which are felons – and male and female prisoners are not able to be segregated from each other in the jail as required either. The project is estimated to cost approximately four-point-six million dollars. For a taxpayer with a 100-thousand dollar home, it would cost them about thirty-five dollars a year. LeClere says he has received mostly positive feedback from the Jail Planning Committee on the project’s plans. The Sheriff’s Office also set up a booth at the Delaware County Fair last month, giving fairgoers a chance to see the project’s floor plan and getting mostly positive feedback as well. The Sheriff plans to temporarily relocate the inmates some night this fall so an Open House can be held, giving the public a chance to see the jail facility and its issues firsthand. He also plans to display the proposed floor plan in the courthouse, as well as other places around the county, possibly in City Halls. And he would like to hold meetings in the communities around Delaware County to help inform the public as well. If the jail project is approved by voters, construction will likely start this spring.