Concerns raised regarding cost of Vigo County jail compared to Michigan jail

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Concerns from taxpayers are on the rise as the Vigo County jail project progresses.

This after County Councilman Christ Switzer contacted a second opinion from Michigan to take a look at the cost of the new jail.

In late May, Sheriff William Federspiel of Saginaw County compared jail designs and cost with county officials.

Saginaw County is building a $37.8 million jail without raising taxes, which is leading some tax payers to question the cost of Vigo County’s new jail.

“There are jails that have similar capacity that can be built for significantly less,” said resident Liz Brown.

County Commissioner President Brad Anderson believes Federspiel’s designs gave residents a false idea of the cost and efficiency.

“It was just a ploy. It does confuse people. We have a Sheriff here, he’s the one that’s going to be running this jail,” he said. “Not Saginaw, Michigan.”

Anderson went on to say each state has different rules and laws regarding the construction of county jails.

A comment Switzer says isn’t true.

“When you build a jail you build it to American Correctional Association Standards. So trying to say that their jail has to be built differently than ours or vise versa is so misconstrued. I mean it’s not true,” he explained. “You’re building a jail in 2019 to meet a certain specific standard nationwide. Not county by county or state by state.”

The estimated cost for the Vigo County jail is 60 million dollars, double the cost of Saginaw County’s.

Anderson says commissioners are still waiting for the jail design to go to bid, he hopes to see bids in the next three weeks.

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