What’s Next for Vigo County Jail?

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It’s back to the drawing boards as Vigo County just lost the leading location for a new jail.

The former International Paper property–the front runner in the search to become Vigo County’s new jail spot–is no longer awaiting approval to rezone.

“We’ve heard the public, and apparently they–that’s not where they want it, so we’re going to look around, and try to find some place else,” says county commissioner, Jon Marvel.

The jail would’ve taken up 24 acres of the 60-plus acre lot already owned by the county. Marvel says the rest of it would’ve been handed over to Riverscape for recreation and beautification plans.

“That’s the thing that’s frustrating me as an elected official is the fact that I wish we could’ve caught–had a compromise where Riverscape would’ve been able to do their development, and the jail could’ve still went there,” says Terre Haute City Council President Karrum Nasser.

But now, that land could be sold to anyone, and potentially none of it given to Riverscape. Sheriff Greg Ewing just hopes wherever the jail ends up, that it’s decided on fast.

“I guess the search will continue until they find that piece, but I hope it’s a speedy search, because we are bursting at the seams,” says Ewing.

It’s unclear if any new front-runners will emerge from the several other locations the commissioners also looked at during their search.

“Now we’re not going to use our choice. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and look again,” says Marvel.

“You’re going to have the old quote, ‘not in my back yard,’ and I get that. But obviously we have to have the infrastructure in place. You know, I jokingly tell people, you know, you can’t put the jail on a septic tank,” says Ewing.

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