"We have to get a new jail because we don't have a choice." Public speaks out about approved jail location

Vigo County leaders have approved the former Stu's Golf Course for the county jail site. It happened during a Vigo County council meeting on Tuesday night.

Posted: May 15, 2019 9:57 AM
Updated: May 15, 2019 10:11 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Vigo County leaders have approved the former Stu's Golf Course for the county jail site. It happened during a Vigo County council meeting on Tuesday night. 

The meeting was held at the Vigo County Annex and lasted nearly five hours. 

The site had to be approved by the county council before any purchase could be made. The council did vote to approve the Honey Creek location near the sewage plant with a 5 to 2 vote. 

Council members, Lisa Spence Bunnet and Chris Switzer, both voted against this property. Commissioners pointed out how building a new jail near a sewage plan played a big role in choosing the location. The former Stu's Golf Course achieves this goal. The property stretches from the new theater all the way to the sewage plant. 

Commissioners say there's room to build facilities for mental health or drug addiction. The proposed new jail will hold 500 beds. The current jail holds 268.

"I'm just glad that we can continue with this," Brad Anderson, a Vigo County Commissioner said. "We feel it's the best place for this."

The public was able to ask questions related to the project. 

"Please put a budgetary ceiling on this jail," a concerned citizen said. "We're putting more people in jail in Vigo County than they are in Chicago," another resident said. 

Others pushed for a smaller jail.

"Do any of you disagree that a small jail could be built to start with a design that allows for expansion?" a concerned asked the council "I'd like to ask that the council to only fund a 422 bed facility so that we have money for rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration," another resident added. 

The next step is to finish the design that officials say will require less manpower. An update is expected to be given to a judge by the end of the month. 

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