Letter to the Editor, Oct. 31
Plenty of flaws in justice center proposal
To the Editor:
I just read with great interest my Oct. 23 Times-Gazette. The front page article on our new jail really caught my attention. I have to admit I thought it was a great picture, but it left me with several questions.
1. How can the same county which does not have the money to staff a new ambulance building and has had to cut out parts of the last three schools it has built come up with money to fund a study with results like this?
2. How can a county where people with legitimate businesses that bring in tax money have to fight for years for rezoning, yet we can put in a new jail across the street from a day care and border it on three sides with families' homes?
3. Why do we have to include, in every article about our county, what neighboring counties are doing? For this to be relevant, you need to include how many million-dollar lawsuits they have lost in the past year, and how many do they still have pending?
4. Why do most towns build their jails in remote locations if they could be used to revitalize downtown?
5. Why do federal, state and local leaders act like grants are free money? The only money government has to grant comes from taxpayers.
6. Why would an architect drawing plans for a jail need anything but a straight edge, to draw either a simple square or rectangle-shaped building?
7. If parking on the square is such a problem, why can I never remember a time in my 50 years when I could not find a parking space?
8. How can we be planning a new juvenile detention center when the one we have is losing money?
9. We have a jail that is 25,000 square feet and propose to build a new one that is 50,000 square feet. Are we building it because the one we have is overcrowded and not condemned? Would it not make more sense with our current money situation to think on something less than a grand scale?
I have no doubt that we will build a new jail, but could we please build one we can somewhat afford and let our strong legacy, as mentioned in the article, be one that says to the next generation that for once we used common sense? I don't know Chris White personally, but I assume he pays taxes here. Finding the money is, in a very real way, all taxpayers' job.
Before you ask me if I have a better idea, let's look at the one presented. We are going to buy a city block from multiple owners, who now know we want to buy their property. We will then clear the land and test the soil of land that has for years been a railroad site, an oil company, and a feed mill, then we will build seven different new buildings, which we will staff with more people. We will build a parking lot with somewhere around 300 parking spaces. We will build a new park and a new commercial/retail site, both of which border our new jail, and we will do all this while having no money.
I would say any idea I come up with will trump that.
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