Magistrates won’t approve sale of jail without knowing price before sale
by Alan Reed
Aug 23, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Magistrate Tony Mitchell was opposed to selling the county owned jail until a fair price could be determined.
Magistrate Tony Mitchell was opposed to selling the county owned jail until a fair price could be determined.
Controversy was again the order of the day at the August 15 session of the Trigg County Fiscal Court surrounding the old jail building. Current plans for the State Justice Center call for the purchase and razing of the building to create a parking area.

County Judge Executive Berlin Moore cited maintenance difficulties in the old building. “The jail’s roof has leaked I suppose since construction was completed. The steel deck of the roof has rusted and would need to be replaced. We’ve looked at gutting the jail and rebuilding it. By the time we knock out the bars and reinforced concrete, the building may not be safe. The basement leaks. We had some records down there and (County Clerk Wanda Thomas) may need to throw some away.”

Moore said that the current plans call for the lot the jail is on to hold roughly14-18 parking places.

“We have $420,000 for land acquisition, and are offering the courthouse for $250,000. We have not had the courthouse or jail appraised yet to get the fair value for us and the Justice Center,” said Moore.

Magistrate Kevin Stroud asked if any of the jail facility could be used to house evidence for the sheriff’s new headquarters, to be located in the Terrell Building next door.

“I doubt it. (Sheriff Randy Clark) has a big room over in the Terrell Building that he can use. He thinks he has room in his office for the Breathalyzer machine, or else we can talk to City Hall about putting it in the police station,” said Moore.

Stroud said that he had spoken to Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander about relocating the jail’s Breathalyzer, used in DUI investigations, to the police station, and had informal approval.

Stroud, who is also on the Project Development Board, said that with current architectural plans calling for the narrowing of Court and Monroe Streets adjacent to the courthouse, the construction of a jail-site parking lot would leave a net loss of three parking slots.

“If we do not use the jail site, we may have to condemn some buildings nearby. We don’t want to do that. It would be better to keep the peace,” Moore said of the need for property for parking.

Magistrate Tony Mitchell called for an appraisal of the property, while Stroud made a motion to have the jail appraised and sell it to the PDB at appraised value. Magistrate Lacy Bush seconded the motion.

The motion was defeated by a 4-2 margin, with Stroud and Bush voting in favor, and Mitchell, Kelly P’Poole, Larry Lawrence and Donnie Tyler voting against.

Mitchell said, “We have not agreed to sell the jail, but the architect has already figured the jail into his plans.” He then made a motion to have the jail appraised without selling the property. With a second from Donnie Tyler, the motion carried.

for the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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