The controversial debate continues for the Vigo County Jail

The Vigo County jail has been a topic of debate for years, from the design to the location, everyone is weighing in.

Posted: Jun 19, 2019 8:56 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 9:10 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- The Vigo County jail has been a topic of debate for years, from the design to the location, everyone is weighing in.

Just recently, County Councilman Chris Switzer brought in a Michigan sheriff to compare jail costs.

Switzer proposed the idea after Stu's golf course was chosen as the new jail location.

He told News that he had reservations about the proposed location because he felt building the jail away from the courthouse only took on a financial burden.

During the Saginaw County sheriff's discussion, he explained how he built his Michigan jail at the original location for a lower cost.

His conversation sparked curiosity in many taxpayers wondering if the same was possible for Vigo County.

County Commissioner President, Brad Anderson told us that Switzer's plan only confused those in the community and did not apply to the state of Indiana.

"It's a ploy. We have a sheriff here... he's the only going to be running this jail, not Saginaw Michigan. States are different, rules are different, laws are different... we have a sheriff that will run this jail and we want to make it as efficient as we can for him," Anderson said.

On the other hand, Councilman Switzer says there was another agenda for bringing in the sheriff.

"My goal was never to mislead anybody....it was to show folks that there may be other opportunities that could save us a lot of money. The idea was to bring him here to explain what they were doing, how they were doing it and who they used to build it," Switzer said.

Due to the controversy of this debate, several community members have attended Council meetings to share their concerns.

Councilman Switzer tells us while it may have caused confusion for some, it allowed the community to become more involved with elected officials.

"I am happy that the community is voicing their opinion but you're going to have to come to Council meetings and say you're unhappy. You're going to have to physically be there and tell them that you're unhappy or you're thankful or not thankful... our elected officials have to hear from you to get things done.," Switzer said.

At this time there is no exact cost for the jail because officials are waiting to get the design to bid.

County Commissioner President, Brad Anderson told News 10 that you can expect to see that happen within the next three weeks.

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