Delaware County voters overwhelmingly voted “yes” on Tuesday for a new county jail.
Voters were asked whether or not the County should bond up to $5.9 million to build a new law enforcement facility that would house the county jail and Sheriff’s Office. County officials said if approved, the 12-year bond would not cost one extra cent on the debt service levy.
85.52% of voters approved the bond issue. A 60% supermajority was needed to pass.
2,534 of Delaware County’s residents turned out to vote in this special election – 2,167 voting “yes” and 367 voting “no”. 355 of those votes were cast absentee, with 303 of those in favor of the bond issue.
You can find a breakdown of how each precinct voted by clicking HERE.
In recent years, the state jail inspector has warned the County that improvements needed to be made for the 52-year old jail facility to meet state standards or the jail could risk closing. Assessment reports from second parties confirmed the County has also outgrown the current 12-bed jail, with surplus inmates being transported to jails out of county – costing the County money and staff time and risking the safety of county staff and the public.
The County tried passing a bond issue in 2014 and again in 2015 to pay for an expansion and remodel of the current jail facility, but it failed to gain the 60% supermajority needed to pass – losing by 22 votes in the last special election.
The County then brought in a consultant, who determined a new facility would cost nearly the same as improving the current jail facility. The County has proposed building the new facility at one of two sites in Manchester’s industrial park on the south side of town.
So what’s the next step? We’ll visit with Delaware County officials this week to find out how the process to build a new jail and Sheriff’s Office will begin.
photo courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH