The fight against proposed Lucas County jail site goes over the state line

ERIE, Mich. (WTVG) - The McCarty home is just over the state line in Michigan. It's been in the family for decades and is, as the couple calls it, a "perfect mix."

"You are in the city but it's still rural," Darla McCarty said. "I would like to keep it that way."

But the couple says talks of a new Lucas county jail, a mile from their front door, is threatening that and they're fighting back.

"I realize a jail is necessary," Brian McCarty said. "I do think it needs to be downtown where all the other social services are. Bringing a jail to a neighborhood is bring all the other issues with it."

"I don't know how many neighborhoods they're going to go to before they figure out that's what people want," Darla said of keeping the jail downtown.

Lucas County Commissioners have met plenty of resistance in the past during the board's search for the perfect site. They say the property on Detroit avenue, just south of Alexis road, is the best fit for what the county needs and would have minimal impact on nearby neighborhoods.

As for a new or even renovated downtown location, county leaders have said it would cost more money and it wouldn't provide the types of environments that deputies and inmates need.

"There is nothing that they can say that will ever make me excited about having a jail down there," Darla said. "It needs to stay downtown."

"Roll up [your] sleeves, got back tot he drawing board and make it work," Brian told 13abc.

In the meantime, the county is working to get residents on the same page so they can pass a criminal justice levy.

This, while the McCarty's continue their fight for "no" votes from Erie, Michigan.

"There is so much strength in numbers and people need to get out there and have their voices heard about why it's just not a good idea," Darla said.

The Lucas County Commissioners have scheduled a second public meeting where they will field questions from taxpayers.

It's set for Thursday March 8, 2018 on the first floor of One Government Center. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.