TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It is now up to city leaders to decide if a new jail will be built on the former International Paper property in Terre Haute.
A third party lawyer says the county needs to abide by city rules so the county has rescinded a request for site variances and is now asking to rezone the property for a penitentiary.
This was the outcome the city council members had hoped for and it means they will have a say on whether or not a new jail is built on the former International Paper property.
News 10 spoke with city attorney Eddie Felling at Thursday night’s city council meeting. Felling explains the deadline to request a rezoning to have it considered next month was Wednesday at noon. For this reason, the city council voted to suspend the rules in a 6-3 vote. This means the process can move forward.
The rezoning request will go to area planning and then to the city council in December.
If the city council denies the county's request for rezoning the county would have to wait at least a year before making the request again. The county could appeal the decision.
The city council also approved a resolution insisting the county follow city rules even though the county already agreed to do so.
One group against using that space for a jail is Riverscape. A spokesperson for the group was at the city council meeting to show the council members other ideas for space.
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Wabash River Development and Beautification, Inc. President Charlie Williams says, "I think we need to take into account the potential of lost opportunity cost. This property comes along maybe once a century. It's available. If we use it for a jail? There are plenty of places the jail could be in Terre Haute and Vigo County."
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