ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) The Adams County Jail and judicial building will soon have a new home. However, some business owners aren’t happy with the proposed new location.
Adams County officials said jail overcrowding makes this move necessary.
The Adams County jail has seen steady growth, partly due to an Indiana House bill that reclassifies sentencing.
“In the last year, we’ve seen an increase in meth use and meth offenses,” said Sheriff Shane Rekeweg of the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.
That’s why, about ten years ago, county officials started setting aside funds for a new jail. That time is now.
“We have certainly done a lot homework on this location, matter of fact, the commissioners and the county council have officially voted and approved a first street location,” said Doug Bauman, Chairman of the Adams County Commissioners’ Office.
The Adams County Jail has 60 cells. There are currently 73 inmates. The new location would hold more than double the capacity.
“We’re talking about perhaps up to 200 beds,” said Bauman.
The exact location is still in the works.
However, county commissioners knew they wanted the jail near the courthouse. The problem is, that’s also right next to other businesses.
“My concerns are mainly that if it’s back there, we’ll have cops sitting in the parking lot not necessarily on duty but it will just deter customers from coming in,” said Chris Faurote, Owner of Vinnie’s Bar.
According to Faurote, about 400 people have signed a petition against the downtown location.
“They’re looking at growth and it’ll stop the growth of downtown Decatur if they wipe out areas where they can have future growth,” said Faurote.
“Wherever you decide to locate a jail or for that matter, almost anything, you’re going to get some opposition,” said Bauman.
The new project will cost around $24 million. It’ll be funded through local option income taxes, which will increase.
Officials expect to hold two public meetings early next month.
Exact information hasn’t been released yet.