Neighbors voice thoughts on proposed jail site to county leaders

Neighbors voice thoughts on proposed jail site to county leaders
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Neighbors got a chance to speak out Thursday about the proposed jail site near Alexis Road and Detroit Avenue.

This was the second time Lucas County Commissioners met to discuss the project with them.

"I think the opposition is getting stronger," said Rebecca. She lives near the site, but did not want to share her last name. Several neighbors spoke out against the proposed jail site on Alexis and Detroit during Thursday's meeting with county leaders and say they want it downtown.

"I'm here for everybody in our county, this needs to be downtown," shared one resident living in Point Place.

"We fought it then, we can do it again and we will win," exclaimed a neighbor near the proposed site.

County leaders said staying downtown just isn't plausible.

"The footprint of the Downtown Toledo site is not large enough for best jail and corrections practices," explained Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada. "It's so inefficient that we lose millions of dollars each year that that footprint just doesn't allow us to do it the right way, this is the right way to do it."

Commissioners said the Alexis and Detroit location meets all their criteria with plenty of acreage, hard boundaries, it's industrial and undeveloped. Despite that, neighbors are pushing back in full force.

"They are looking at only what they want to look at to get what they want," said Rebecca, a leader of the group against moving the jail. "They are not looking at the entire picture and that is why we are here."

"My property value is going to go down," explained one resident who lives near Shoreland Elementary. "I've lived in my home since 1988 and I am seriously thinking of leaving, along with a lot of other people in our district."

"The city and the county has tried to put every undesirable business in my neighborhood," said Susan White. "There are four strip clubs, at least one adult bookstore, an S&M club and that's what we're dealing with and now you want to saddle us with a jail, no way. We're not going to stand for it."

But not all agree it's a bad location.

"Having the jail on Detroit Avenue would bring a lot of security and enforcement in that area so it would be a beneficial aspect."

And that's something the sheriff echoed.

"As the sheriff of the county my responsibility is to keep the peace and I will do everything in my power to make sure that that neighborhood is safe," Sheriff John Tharp.

When a jail is built, he has offered his department to do spot checks, add patrol around the location of their new jail and also wants to create a hotline for community members to use if they are concerned about anything.

The proposed site for the county jail could end up on the November ballot, but that decision is not official at this time.

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