Janet Barber

Grove Sun

JAY – The question of how to resolve the overcrowding situation at The Delaware County Jail is still unanswered after a meeting of the Delaware County Public Facilities Authority Wednesday.

Rick Smith of Municipal Finance Service presented information to the board to try to help the trust decide the next step in the construction of a new detention center. The financial data included several different rates of sales tax increases to give the trust an idea of how big a facility they could build and maintain with monies collected from sales tax starting from a .2% to a .3% sales tax increase and carrying a note from 20 to 40 years.

Every scenario from a 172-bed facility to a 228-bed facility resulted in a shortfall of funds needed to build and maintain any sort of new facility.

Members of the architecture firm, SouthBuild, were also on hand to field questions regarding the facility, but without an idea of what size facility could be in the best interest of the county, they didn’t have a lot of information to offer.

Individuals in attendance asked about options other than building a new facility that included non-violent offenders’ programs and building onto the existing 62-bed facility.

District Attorney Eddie Wyant did offer some good news to the board. He relayed to them that the attorney in charge of the lawsuit filed against the county was no longer employed with the State of Oklahoma Health Department, the attorney in charge of the case now would not be in that position very long, and Don Garrison, the jail inspector, would be retiring soon. He said that in his opinion, these factors would allow the county some time to make a decision regarding the situation.

At the conclusion of the meeting, it was decided that the trust members would like to review the financial data presented to them during the meeting and would meet again next week, but a specific date was not decided during the meeting.