The Winnebago County Sheriff says it’s time to close down the county’s law enforcement center and jail and build a new one.
In fact, he is concerned that the old structure is unsafe for his workers and the inmates, so he would love to see a new facility built. Tonight voters were asked to say yes or no to a bonding measure that would help pay for the upgrade.
With all locations accounted for:
1,132 ballots cast
Yes – 557
No – 575
It’s a difference of only 18 votes.
A new building will cost just over 5 million dollars. Their current building is almost eighty years old and has many serious problems. Some of the issues they’re seeing with the current building, include overlap of inmates, lack of fire sprinklers, limited visibility for staff, lack of a secure perimeter, etc. There’s a real possibility that the jail could be shut down by the state inspector in the near future because of these problems.
Some residents wonder if it would be cheaper to renovate the old building, but after an examination, it was found that it would be just as expensive – if not impossible to do. Karla Niederkofler says that citizens should take a look at the current facility, “Our sheriff, Dave Peterson, has said you know people can come in and take a look at it and just see how bad of conditions the current building is in.”
Niederkofler says that no matter what, they are going to need a new building it’s just going to depend on the size and budget.