Lucas County hosts open house about proposed jail site

The public was invited to the EMS Training Center to discuss their thoughts on a proposed new jail site (WNWO).

A two hour open house was packed at the EMS Training Center, as the public had plenty to say about a new jail potentially coming to their neighborhood.

Lifetime Toledo resident Diane Shanklend isn not thrilled with the new proposed site for the Lucas County Jail, but she did find the open house to be a positive experience.

"Talking with the deputies, and the sheriff and the commissioners, it makes me feel better."

For Michael Grupp-Verbon, there was not enough information.

"I think it's kind of loosey-goosey. I mean, I think somebody should be talking and explaining what's going on, and explaining the details of it. I think they're just kind of leaving it up to us to walk around and figure things out."

The potential site for the new jail is on North Detroit Avenue, just south of Alexis Avenue.

Wednesday night's open house allowed citizens to address their concerns by talking with the health department, commissioners and even the sheriff.

"We have different opportunities with them to talk about jail design. I hope we will hear from the community on what designs appeal to them. I hope they will learn this isn't a great big building with guard towers and razor wire and arc lights, but that this is a community building. I'm looking forward to continuing that dialogue with the people who want to talk," said County Commissioner, Carol Contrada.

Sheriff Tharp and others listened to complaints and messages of support.

One thing that many can agree on is that there is a need to replace the current facility.

"We need a new jail so bad. The roof is leaking. The pipes are breaking. The elevators are breaking down. In fact, in our corner office, right now that we have, the administrative office right next to me, we have a tub on the floor and the roof has been leaking for three days that has not been fixed yet. These are the situations we run into on a daily basis," declared Tharp.

The number one feeling in the room that was discussed is that not many want a new jail site to come into their neighborhood. The biggest concerns included safety and lowered property values.

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