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Hancock Co. Board of Commissioners seeks community input on Criminal Justice Facilities project

Hancock Co. Board of Commissioners seeks community input on Criminal Justice Facilities project
Posted at 2:33 PM, Oct 27, 2017

The Hancock County Board of Commissioners is seeking the public’s input on the multi-million dollar criminal justice facilities project, which includes a new jail, renovation of the current jail for community corrections, moving the probation department into another area of the current jail, and moving the prosecutor’s office into the courthouse. 

A “resolution of need” for the criminal justice facilities project will be discussed on Tuesday, October 31, at 10 AM.

The meeting will take place in Commissioners Court in the Annex building. The board will be accepting public comment at this time on the project. 

According to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, the current facility was opened in April of 1988.

The jail has capacity for 157 inmates, with another 100 inmates next door at the county's work release/community corrections center.  

In May, commissioner Brad Armstrong introduced a resolution of need for the project to fund the new construction of, and renovation and additions to the Hancock County jail, probation department, prosecutor’s office, and community corrections facility.

The board determined that it was in the best interest of the county and its residents to fund the projects.

The estimated total cost of funding the projects and issuance expenses is now estimated not to exceed $35 million plus investment earnings on the bond proceeds.

According to the board of commissioners, the board determined, after investigation, that a need exists to fund the projects and funds needs exceed the funds available to the county for such purposes. Therefore, the county council could proceed to the necessary steps to secure funding for the projects.

It was also determined the funding of the projects is in the public interest of Hancock County citizens and is a proper public purpose.

During a September 5 board meeting, commissioner Marc Huber made a motion for the Hancock County Board of Commissioners to enter into an engagement with Ice Miller Legal Counsel for legal services regarding the financing of a new criminal justice center for the maximum amount of $32,000. Commissioner John Jessup seconded the motion and the motion carried 3-0.