Monday, May 18, 2009

Putnam County Commission Votes on Jail Site

The Putnam County commission Monday night apparently ended more than a year of debate over what should be done to deal with jail overcrowding. On a 13-to-10 vote, the commission passed a motion that would approve an off-site location for the construction of what is described as a "legally adequate only" jail facility. A separate motion which called for bids to be let to build a jail expansion at the present site on Spring Street failed by a vote of 14-to-9. And while there is still some disagreement over just how much a new jail will cost, a slight majority of the commissioners apparently believe that adding on to the existing jail is the more expensive option -- especially when considering the added cost of parking. Just where the offsite jail will be located is still up in the air, as the motion passed Monday night also included the "immediate pursuit of land options" and the continued exploration of "green field" locations as well as the possible formation of a Regional Jail Authority with other counties in the area. When Putnam County sheriff David Andrews was asked what he preferred, he said, "My personal opinion doesn't matter, but I'd like to see it started."