October 8, 2014 Edition

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Quorum Court to discuss
county jail, state prison

The Lawrence County Quorum Court meeting will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. instead of its usual meeting time due to the Columbus Day holiday.

County Judge Dale Freeman said that he encourages the public to attend as the court will discuss possible locations for a new county jail and details regarding the maximum-security state prison application.

Freeman said that he will have the projected costs for building a new jail at three possible locations, as well as information about whether the county will have to build a completely new facility or if an existing building could be retrofitted.

Construction firms have surveyed buildings at the old Black Rock campus, the old Higginbotham Funeral Service property and 6.2 acres of property the county purchased from The Children's Shelter.

After being granted a six-month extension on the closing of the existing jail, Freeman said he wants to take time to look into every option before moving forward.

A new jail will require a tax, but without a new jail Freeman believes the county will suffer great financial burden due to housing inmates outside of the county.

Freeman also announced that the application for a new state prison is near completion. During the meeting, he will form a committee to assist in finalizing the application, which is to be submitted by Oct. 24.

The new prison has yet to be funded on a state level and it is unclear when the project will begin after a location is selected.

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