Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn Jail Finds Land to Build on U.S. 341; County Welcomes Deal That Would End Long Process

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn Jail Finds Land to Build on U.S. 341; County Welcomes Deal That Would End Long Process

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Morrison

BRUNSWICK | Glynn County will pay the Honeywell Corp. $475,000 for a 35-acre tract that will be the eventual home of a new jail.

The County Commission made the announcement Friday in a special meeting in which commissioners donned Santa hats and spoke gleefully about taking another huge step in laying to rest a controversy that has raged for years.

"Three-and-a-half years ago, the backbone of my campaign was getting the jail relocated outside the city of Brunswick," Commissioner Bob Coleman said. "It seems that's becoming a reality today."

The Honeywell property on U.S. 341 north of downtown was formerly occupied by the Sunset Drive-in. It lies next to the former LCP Chemicals-Georgia plant, a federal Superfund cleanup site also owned by Honeywell. The drive-in property has been deemed safe to use.

Commission Chairman Tom Sublett said the purchase price is well below market value.

"It's quite a deal," he said.

The county already has sunk millions of dollars into the jail project, which started out as an expansion of the existing downtown facility.

Previously, the county spent $4 million in acquiring and making improvements to a 2-acre tract adjacent to the jail between H and I streets.

Public outcry caused the commission to abandon that plan, however, and the property has become a dirt parking lot for county employees.

Opponents to downtown expansion argued that it would hinder development along the waterfront and downtown. Lately, however, there's been little development to hinder and the downtown business district has a number of empty storefronts.

"It's been a long and arduous road," Sublett said. "Thousands and thousands of hours have been expended in and around this issue, and millions and millions of dollars have been spent in and around this issue, some of which will never be recovered. …

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