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Local News

At the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Eric Hackman of Tower Pinkster went through the presentation that would have been shared at the next Barry County Community Forum, originally scheduled for March 19th, that was cancelled because of the current health crisis.

 

The current strategy is to concentrate on replacing the Jail and Sheriff’s Office, while exploring other funding options in lieu of a millage to address replacing the existing Barry County Commission on Aging facility.

 

The preliminary jail proposal is to replace the current 97 bed facility with a new 116 bed jail of approximately 60-thousand square feet to serve current needs and short term projections, while allowing room for expansion up to 136 beds in the future. Hackman presented preliminary concept drawings of what that might look like, with a proposed project cost of $25-million dollars.

 

The proposed cost allows the county to explore or pursue alternate sites for a new jail such as a greenfield site, adaptive re-use of another site, or to build on the current site. However, the Board of Commissioners has indicated it first  needs to get the ‘Pre-Approval’ from taxpayers to go ahead with the project before choosing the final site, or before paying the estimated half-million dollar cost for detailed architectural drawings.

 

The Board must decide by April 14th whether to put a bond millage question on the August ballot in order to get that voter ‘Pre-Approval’ to proceed.  Millage rate estimates to fund a $25-million dollar project would be 0.52 mills for 25 years, or 0.63 mills for 20 years. 

 

As an example, the owner of a home with $100-thousand market value would pay $26 per year with the 25 year bond/rate, or $31.50 per year with the 20 year bond/rate.

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