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'This is single-handedly one of the biggest mistakes this county has ever made,' One councilman shares his disagreement with the proposed jail location

County leaders are getting down to the wire for a decision on the proposed jail location. One county councilman has created a plan to bring on the discussion for reconsideration of the new location. News 10 sat down with this councilman, who explains his reasoning for the plan.

Posted: May 14, 2019 4:41 PM
Updated: May 14, 2019 5:38 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - County leaders are getting down to the wire on the proposed jail location and one county council member has a plan to share with the public before anything is finalizing.

Tuesday evening there is to be a meeting discussing the proposed location, where council member, Chris Switzer plans on sharing his thoughts on the location.

Switzer has asked a Michigan sheriff to visit Terre Haute, May 23rd, to discuss his success with building a jail and sheriff's office on the current jail property.

Switzer told us that Saginaw County, Michigan has faced similar issues regarding jail overcrowding.

The jail too considered building the facility off-site until they realized it could be built vertically holding five hundred and eleven beds for less money.

Switzer is optimistic that by bringing in an outside perspective to discuss the matter, Vigo County could consider doing the same thing with the current jail location by the courthouse. 

"There are hundreds of other counties that are building jails outside of Indiana at a much lower cost," said Switzer. "So, the point I'm trying to make is why are we not looking into that?"

Despite his efforts, several individuals in the Wabash Valley are not in favor of Switzer's plan.

"It's one of those things where everybody has an opinion and you can go all over the country but laws are different for states, are they holding class six felonies? Are they maybe having to hold class five felonies? The state of Indiana is a little bit different than the state of Michigan," said President of the County Commissioners, Brad Anderson.

Switzer understands that not everyone is on the same page, but that's because he said it's a matter of not wanting change.

"If people are against me for bringing in a sheriff it's because they're scared of what he has to say. It's pretty cut and dry to me... a five hundred bed jail for thirty-nine million and a four hundred or five hundred bed jail for sixty-eight million dollars. What's in between here? Have we taken our wants and do they outweigh our needs? We'll see," Switzer said. 

As of right now, council members and commissioners are awaiting a judge's approval on the finalization of the jail location.

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