DeKalb jail study suggests new jail and commissioners agree

AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) – After two years, a draft of the DeKalb County Jail Study suggests two projects- a new jail and a community corrections and work release facility.

“It’s pretty much what we expected- that this building behind us here the current jail is in such bad shape,” said Don Grogg, the president of the DeKalb County Commissioners who represents the southeast district of the county.

The jail would cost a little more than $22 million and the community corrections would be more than $27 million. It’s a hefty price tag but for it’s a development that the county commissioners agree needs to be done.

“Do I want to spend $20 million or $22 million for a jail? Absolutely not, but it’s one of those things where we have an obligation where we do need to provide for the county and for the safety of the individuals and for the safety of the inmates,” said Commissioner Randy Deetz, who represents the county’s west district.

The new jail would house 223 beds. Right now inmates are still being sent to other counties as the jail is full at 80.

“I don’t see where we really have a choice other than going forward with a jail of some type sometime,” Deetz said.

Finding a location is next. Something more rural than downtown Auburn is recommended. But commissioners want to know what the community wants.

“I want people’s input, the local citizens of DeKalb County. I want their input on what should we do. We’re there for them. We speak for them, so tell us what they want,” Grogg said.

There could be two options for paying for all of this – a bond or a local option income tax. There is already a jail committee and public meetings will be coming up.