HASTINGS – The Adams County Board of Supervisors will be holding a second and final public information meeting about the proposed Justice Center on the November general election ballot tonight at 7 at the former Wallace Elementary school building. The current jail can only house about 37 people and they spend about 1.65 million dollars a year housing inmates in other county jails.
It was built in 1962 and is in non compliance with Nebraska state law but is currently grandfathered in. Scott Thompson, of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, says that the state can take that away at any moment and then they’ll have to build a new jail or house all the inmates in different county jails.
And then you’re looking at well over 3 to 3.5 million dollars a year, which we just cannot afford to do. We’ve always wanted to take this to the public so they can vote on the justice center. But if, for some reason, this would not pass I do believe that the Adams County board is prepared to go ahead and do what is called a nickel tax and pass that on our own. Which we could fund to build the jail. The jail just by itself, which is not what we want to do, but the jail has to get built, that’s just the way it is.
The jail by itself would be about 25.8 million dollars. The new Justice Center would be a 164 bed jail and it would house the courtrooms, the public defender and the Adams county attorney’s office. On the ballot language the cost not to exceed is 38 million dollars.
It is projected to be a tax increase of around $74 for the average home in town and ranging from $500-$2,000 increase on agricultural land for 20 years to pay off the bond.