By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
The Vigo County Council voted in favor of the new county jail site recently proposed by county commissioners during tonight's meeting.
Voting 5-2, the council approved acquiring the property near Honey Creek Mall, on 22 - acres of land just behind what used to be a golfing business. It is located to the west of Honey Creek Mall. Voting in favor: Council members Aaron Loudermilk, Mike Morris, Jim Mann, David Thompson and Vickie Weger. Voting against: Council memebers Chris Switzer and Lisa Spence.
The nearly $70 million security annex construction project is designed for more than 500 beds. The land purchase will cost just more than $510,000.
Several audience members spoke out against the project. They noted distance, transportation costs and size of the planned jail as concerns at the lengthy meeting held at the Vigo County Annex building.
Councilwoman Spence said the jail project has been a "very complex situation, with a highly complex construction project." She said information is limited at times. She would like officials to look at the big picture --- considering what is best for the county and that "doesn't ride on the backs of poor people."
"We keep going through this. And each step, we're given one choice to make, and told that's the only choice. More often than not, we're up against the threat that the judge will act if we don't take the next step, " she said, referring to legal action against the county for the current jail conditions.
Councilman Switzer agrees.
"I think this whole situation has been done backwards," he said, just before voting in opposition.
In other business, the council voted uninanimously in support funding of a convention center to be built in downtown Terre Haute. The county will contribute about $27 million towards the nearly $33 million project, by using EDIT funds and bonds.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141