County commissioners discuss plans for new Greene County jail

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 9:33 PM CST
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Greene County commissioners said they've come up with a more cost effective plan to build a new one.

Monday they announced where it would be built.

Tuesday they answered our questions about the multi-million dollar project.

"It's not an easy fix," said Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon.

The overcrowding problems at the Greene County Jail are well known throughout the community.

'We can't just ignore the immediate need of being able to house those that need to be incarcerated awaiting trial," said Dixon.

Dixon discussed the costs associated with transporting inmates.

"There will be substantial budget savings from not having to transport those same individuals all over the state for housing," he said.

Right now local prisoners are held in 10 different jails across Missouri.

Another concern is the location of the new campus being so close to cemetery.

"Having law enforcement close, we're confident and they agree, will help curb some of the after hours issues that have been experienced from time to time at the cemetery," explained Dixon.

For Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, the new facility presents an opportunity for his entire staff to be in one location, not five.

"From a management standpoint, if you think about it, if you had all your staff broken up, doing the same operation but they're just broken up in different locations,

there's a challenge. It would be nice to have everyone together. It would be a more efficient operation," explained Arnott.

Commissioners are working on a deal to but the 23 acre plot priced at just under $680,000. If approved, construction could start in just a few months.

"I would like to see the groundbreaking and some equipment in before I give you a big I'm excited about it," said Arnott.

Dixon said, "It is a very, very good option and the best decision for the taxpayer long term."

Officials said that adding on to the existing jail would be too expensive.

The county will have the land to expand if necessary.

Also, worth mentioning again, taxpayers will save more than $95 million in the long run.

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