OREGON – The Ogle County Board is unified in its stance that a new jail should be built on county-owned land next to the Judicial Center.
At it's June 20 meeting, Board Chairman Kim Gouker questioned the board about it's support of the current plan, which would have a new jail built downtown and connected to the Judicial Center. That would also mean the closing of part of Sixth Street.
No board members voiced opposition to the plan.
“That is the best location for us to put this place,” Gouker said. “It's next to the judicial center.”
But the Oregon City Council will vote on Tuesday, June 27 on whether or not to close Sixth Street to accommodate the county's current jail plan, which includes a sallyport that would connect the jail to the Judicial Center.
Last month the city voted to approve a request to rezone the land for the jail on a 3-2 vote. But the Tuesday vote to close the street requires four votes to pass.
“I'm still hoping that the council will see the merits of it,” Gouker said of the proposed location.
If the measure doesn't pass? Gouker said the county will still move forward with the planned jail location.
“We'll figure out how to go after next tuesday,” he said.
And the board will do so as a united unit. Board member Ron Colson pointed out that the current plan was the product of two years of "evolution" on the jail.
"Rarely have I seen the Board so unanimous in support of a project," he said. "That indicates that two years of evolution has produced a design that answers all reasonable considerations."
The proposal has a new jail being built just west of the Ogle County Judicial Center on 5th Street. The jail would house between 180 to 200 prisoners and would cost a total of about $25 million. The proposed jail would be connected to the Judicial Center by a sallyport which could hold six vehicles. That would be a secure way to transport prisoners to the Judicial Center. That would mean the closure of part of Sixth Street.