Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn Officials Stand by Jail Plan; Vocal Critics Question Whether the Downtown Site Would Cost Less

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn Officials Stand by Jail Plan; Vocal Critics Question Whether the Downtown Site Would Cost Less

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROLE HAWKINS

BRUNSWICK -- As jails go, Glynn County's is unobtrusive sitting along Newcastle Street.

But plans to expand it have been met with hundreds of red-clad protesters -- some loudly, others silently -- insisting that the commissioners move the jail out of downtown to the county's Public Works site.

Commissioners haven't been moved by the protests and say that neither will the jail.

Lower costs and smoother operations make the downtown plan the best choice, they say. Last month they passed a resolution confirming they would extend the jail a block north of the existing detention center, a site they informally chose nearly a year earlier.

"My personal view is that this is a better idea than operating two different facilities," Commissioner Uli Keller said.

Jeff Kilgore, a board member of Defend Downtown Brunswick, a grass-roots group that opposes a downtown expansion, says the apparent cost savings depend on which numbers you look at.

"A detailed cost comparison was not performed," he said. "How credible is it that this was a business decision when they can't support their numbers and don't have a budget?"

Keller asserts a relocation of the jail also would prompt the relocation of Public Works. The older plan to relocate the jail never included money to buy another Public Works site, Keller said.

"We'd budgeted $2.5 million for Public Works improvements, but that isn't sufficient to acquire lands and build a new facility," he said.

When the county's jail consultant, Carter Goble Lee, calculated a price tag of $17 million for a jail annex at Public Works, commissioners thought a downtown jail addition could be built more cheaply. Common sense reasoning indicated combing the kitchen, laundry and medical services in a single facility would save money, he said.

An architect recently estimated the downtown jail construction will cost $15 million, not much less than what the consultant had predicted for the Public Works site.

But those costs are one-time expenditures, and Keller said he found annual expenses daunting.

The county will save $1.2 million a year by operating one facility rather than two, he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.