Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox and the Livingston County Commission say they believe it remains a prudent decision to keep the Livingston County Jail closed and continue to contract jail services with the Daviess/DeKalb County Regional Jail.
The Livingston County Jail was closed in December of 2012 because of needed repairs, new federal mandates, and staffing issues. Since that time, inmates have been housed at the Daviess/DeKalb County Regional Jail at Pattonsburg.
When the Livingston County Jail was closed, it was agreed to analyze the prisoner detention issue a year later.
The Livingston County Commission hired Goldberg and Associates----a firm specializing in jails----to analyze 3 options. They were: continuing to house prisoners at
Pattonsburg, determine the feasibility of renovating and reopening the old jail, and determining the feasibility of building a new jail facility in Livingston County.
Livingston County Commissioners Eva Danner Horton, Ken Lauhoff, and Todd Rodenberg---and Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox---indicated the study reinforced the decision to close the jail was the right decision, and continuing to house prisoners at the Daviess/DeKalb County Regional Jail presently is the best option. That came after a review of past years budgets, staffing expenditures, and other data.
The Livingston County Commission and Sheriff said a local contractor was hired to estimate the cost of repairs and renovations. Although not specified, the Commissioners and Sheriff said the costs exceeded the financial ability of Livingston County without additional revenues dedicated strictly for jail operations.
A new jail facility is estimated to cost well over $6 million. The Livingston County Commission and Sheriff say that's far beyond the current financial capability of Livingston County.
The commissioners and Sheriff say, staffing requirements combined with renovating or building a new jail would require at least an additional 1/2 cent sales tax revenue solely dedicated to jail operations.
It was noted there's no current desire to increase taxes for a jail project.
The Commission and Sheriff also said the Daviess/DeKalb County Regional Jail has done an overall good to excellent job in housing the number of detainees for Livingston County since the initial contract.
Among other findings, contracting with the Daviess/DeKalb County Regional Jail provides an overall reduction in the costs of incarceration for Livingston County.