Lucas County approves additional money for new jail project

Lucas County approves more money for design consultant for new jail project
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:34 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Lucas County is set to spend more money on consulting services as we may be closer to seeing that new jail come to life.

13abc takes a closer look at what the nearly $300,000 additional dollars be used for.

The hope is to stop spending big money at the current jail, which many have described as antiquated for several years.

County leaders are now down to two sites for a new jail, and one potential site will be getting a closer look. As the Lucas County Facilities Department continues its quest to find a new jail site, an additional $300,000 will be spent on consulting services to see if it can be the final site.

“We said we want you to do a little more work. A little more work on sites to get it right. We haven’t be right in the past. We’re gonna get it right this time,” said Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.

With the additional dollars approved Tuesday, the county will have spent more than $738,000 on Poggemeyer design group for consulting services.

“We need to spend the money upfront, that’s correct. It will save itself on the back end,” said Gerken.

Commissioner Gerken says this additional $300,000 will equal about one percent of the project cost. A project he calls the largest in county history. While it’s big money, he believes spending some now will prevent cost overruns or future issues.

County leaders spent many days and hours vetting the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department as a good site, but so far, that plan has not panned out.

“I wish the health department site would have been easier. It’s not. We spent a lot of time on it. It’s a decent site. It’s still kinda in play, but nobody can wait the year it would take to get control of that site by everybody voting and everyone taking a piece,” said Gerken.

With the money in the works for design, Gerken says he hopes to have an announcement on a site in the first half of this year. Construction is expected to take nearly three years.

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