A special election will be held in Delaware County this Tuesday, May 7th. Voters will head to the polls to decide whether or not the county should bond up to five-point-nine million dollars for a new facility that will house the county jail and Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff John LeClere says the 1967 facility does not meet Delaware County’s needs in 2019.
Along with being outdated, the Sheriff says the jail is also running out of room. Delaware County’s 12-bed jail is currently full – and it has been for some time. Right now, they have nineteen inmates in custody – eight of whom are housed in a different county because they don’t have the room here.
In addition to those nineteen inmates – many of whom are serving felonies – there are also currently 40 to 50 court orders out for people who need to serve jail time for less serious crimes like OWI or public intoxication, but the room isn’t there.
The County says these problems have been around for several years. They have been warned by the state jail inspector to fix their issues so they can meet state standards – so they tried passing a bond to remodel and expand the jail, but it failed twice in 2014 and again in 2015. If standards are not met soon, the inspector says the jail could be forced to close. So Sheriff LeClere says they hired a consultant to help figure out their options.
If the project goes through, the County is expected to choose one of two potential sites in Manchester’s industrial park on the south side of town. Plans have been drawn up for the proposed new jail and Sheriff’s Office – and Sheriff LeClere says it is much more functional than what they have now.
So how will the County pay for a new jail and Sheriff’s Office? County Supervisor Jeff Madlom explains.
Voters will decide on the bond for the new jail and Sheriff’s Office this Tuesday, May 7th. Polls will be open all day from 7 am to 8 pm across the county. A 60% supermajority will be needed for the bond measure to pass.
Sample ballot for Tuesday’s Special Election:
List of polling places/voting information for Tuesday’s Special Election:
Plans for new Delaware County Jail and Sheriff’s Office facility:
Projected Annual Cost of Proposed Jail Project:
ISSDA Jail Committee’s Assessment of current Delaware Co. Jail and Sheriff’s Office facility:
Assessment of current Delaware County Jail and Sheriff’s Office facility:
Photos of current Delaware County Jail and Sheriff’s Office facility:
photos courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH