Citizens Who Want to Vote on the Antrim County Jail have been preparing a list of questions which we hope will be addressed by either the Commissioners or Consultants at the March 19th meeting to be held at the at Kearney Township Hall, 4820 Aero Park Drive in Bellaire. The Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting is from 5:00 to 7:00. At 7:00, there will be a presentation from Byce and Associates.
It is important that citizens attend this meeting if at all possible. The consultants will explain the various options being considered for the Antrim County facilities, including the jail. These plans will cost Antrim County taxpayers between $40 to $76 million.
Below is a list of our questions, which are regarding: 1. the decision making process; 2. the building process; 3. bed space; 4. budget.
We will be modifying this story after input from all citizens, and emailing the Commissioners and Consultants this link.
DECISION MAKING PROCESS
How many public hearings do you anticipate will follow this informational meeting before a decision is made?
Will the public get the chance to vote on this project?
Were all the criminal justice stakeholders (judges, prosecutor, law enforcement, probation and parole officers, defense attorneys, etc.) convened and interviewed as part of the jail planning process?
Were Community Mental Health experts interviewed as part of the jail projection planning process?
Was the Department of Corrections Jail Division included in the planning process?
Was the Jail and Pre-Trial Diversion Joint Task Force consulted?
Was the National Institute of Corrections Jail Division or Community Corrections Division consulted?
What jail inmate classification related data was accessed?
Why is the new campus being proposed in an area where other buildings are known to have water issues?
Are there records anywhere confirming that a second story can not be added to the current jail? If so, where are these records? If not, can a structural engineer be hired?
Have there been any builder estimates to renovate the current jail?
Can you please provide a list of all the data used to project the need for a 75 bed jail?
Given the fact that (historically) the current jail houses a bare minimum number of juvenile and female inmates, how were the number of jail bed spaces determined to be needed arrived at?
Minimum security jail space is different than maximum security space. What percentage and number of your 75-bed proposed jail are minimum security vs maximum security?
What type of space would be used for pre-trial detainees and what percentage of the total 75 bed projected jail would be dedicated that type of space?
Was the use of diversion programs calculated in order to arrive at the 75-bed projection?
Has there been an analysis of funding sources?
Has there been any analysis of how much the operating costs of the new jail will increase?
Will the Sheriff commit to reducing his operating expenses due to efficiencies supposedly built into the new jail? Other communities have reduced it by 35%.
Will there be any money set aside so that all of these facilities are properly maintained in the future?
When comparing various options, has there been any analysis on current and future property taxes collected by the county for the various properties they might sell?
Has there been any analysis on the impact this project will have on county taxpayers now and in the future? How much of the project is the County allowed to do without voter approval?
Have any business owners approached the Commissioners about buying the current buildings? If so, how will the value be determined?