Easy Jail Option
|Hopefully you've already read
the News Herald story on the jail options. If not go back and read it.
I have presented an option to commission to finally address the three main problems at the jail. Those being overcrowding, classification and officer safety and the beauty of this proposal is it requires no tax increases adds no additional costs to tax payers nor does it impact the county budget.
Next year the county will pay off existing debt that will free up $400,000 and an additional $275,000 will be available in 2020. Adding just a little additional funding, that's readily available, would easily allow us to fund a one to ten million dollar addition to the current jail. Maybe even a little more. Can we solve our problems with one to ten million dollars? You better believe we can. Is that what the stake holders want? Absolutely not.
The LCCPC committee has been working on this issue for four or five years now and has spent more than a hundred thousand dollars in the process and we're not one brick closer to solving the problem. It's time to take a different approach.
The Loudon County Corrections Partnership Committee (LCCPC), Jail Committee has been working on coming up with a plan to solve the jail problems. The Loudon County Corrections Partnership Committee, Jail Committee, is made up of Sheriff Tim Guider, Judge Rex Dale, Court Clerk Lisa Niles, Attorney General Russell Johnson, Commissioners Leo Bradshaw, Henry Cullen, Bill Satterfield and Mayor Buddy Bradshaw. Guider, Dale, Niles and Johnson are considered the stakeholders.
The stakeholders from the onset have been determined to abandoned the current Justice Center in favor of an all new, grand facility. Big new offices, big new courtrooms big new everything. Problem is, that would cost a lot of money requiring big tax increases not to mention the increase in operating costs.
Their most recent proposal is to add another $50 litigation tax, collect it for two years to see how much money it brings in then decide later what to build. In the mean time, the jail would remain decertified, dangerous conditions would remain for inmates and officer safety would not be improved. That makes no since whatsoever. It's painfully obvious that the stakeholders plan is still to build the new, big facility. Otherwise, why not move forward with the 1-10 plan.
So we now have an easy option that will solve our problems affordably and quickly. Wasn't that the goal from the beginning?