Update on the proposed Delaware County Justice Center
On Tuesday, February 26, the County Council approved 4 -3 an Ordinance … to Enter into [the County Commissioner’s] Proposed Build Operate Transfer Lease Agreement to construct the new county jail and justice center. Council President Ron Quakenbush moved public comments from the end of the agenda so that people could speak before the vote was taken—all objecting to the jail proposal itself. Council member Scott Alexander also voiced concerns with the proposal. While Council members seem to have wrestled with how the proposal addresses the issues raised by the public, in the end they only have control over whether the Commissioners could use property taxes to back up the EDIT (Economic Development Income Tax) funds over which they have control. In a positive move, the Council did vote for the funding alternative without property tax backup.
However, neither funding equation took the repeated public concerns into account.
The project has moved forward with little apparent response to the concerns expressed publicly by many over the past 10 months.
- The impact on downtown
- The likely reduction in inmates by the time the proposed jail would be occupied (based on legislation effective 2020)
- Adequate substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services
The League is urging the County Commissioners, the County Council, the Mayor, and the Muncie City Council to work together to address these attendant issues for the good of all citizens of Muncie and Delaware County. We stand ready to assist in providing opportunity for citizen input in that process.
Stay tuned! League positions on promoting an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive govern our offer of assistance.