New Jail Plan Moves Forward; Voters To Decide Emergency Communications Issue
By Andrew Cluley
Ypsilanti, MI – The latest plan to expand the Washtenaw County jail has taken a step forward.
The county board's ways and means committee has approved selling up to 32-point-five million dollars in bonds to pay for an additional 96 beds in the jail plus court improvements.
County Administrator Bob Guenzel says the bonds will be paid for through increases in the costs paid by townships for road patrols by the Sheriff's department.
The county board has scheduled a formal vote on the plan for August.
On a related issue, the ways and means committee has decided to put a ten-year, point two-five mil tax increase before county voters in November.
The millage would fund a 32-million dollar plan to improve the county's emergency communication system.
Ann Arbor Police Chief Dan Oates chairs the 800-megahertz consortium that's been working to upgrade emergency communications. Oates says the current system is old and had nine major failures last year. He says the proposed plan would allow all emergency agencies in the county to communicate with each other, would provide 95 percent geographic coverage, and includes a sustainable funding source.