Group creates petition to keep the jail downtown

Group creates petition to keep the jail downtown
(Source: WTOL)

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - "We've been told levy or no levy we're putting it there and this became our only option," said Mary Dutkowski, a Washington Township resident and member of the group "Keep the Jail in Downtown Toledo."

Tuesday was the beginning of a huge citizen initiative. Neighbors are getting serious about their fight to keep the jail downtown with a petition.

A brand new petition was handed out to those fighting to make sure the Lucas County Jail stays within Downtown Toledo. They believe others will join them in their mission.

"This is a petition that we feel is a next step based on the lack of dialogue we've had, constructive dialogue we've had with the commissioners," explained Rob Disbrow, a Point Place resident and member of the "Keep the Jail in Downtown Toledo."

County Commissioners did vote to buy land for the new jail Tuesday, that decision pushed the group "Keep the Jail in Downtown Toledo" to get their petition out.

"Them displaying a lack of transparency, blatant over confidence and failure to even wish to engage wih the citizens," explained Marshall Adams, a Point Place resident volunteering to petition. "That's disturbed me a lot and convinced me that this group is on the correct path."

"The point of this group is to keep it downtown because we firmly believe that's where it belongs," said Mary Dutkowski.

County Commissioners have said they cannot build downtown because of the cost, something neighbors disagree with.

"They are already talking about a tax on the November ballot how much more would you need to put it downtown," questioned Rob Disbrow. "And that figure that they are giving is for that one floor design that they have. Well, we're asking they be a little more flexible."

The group needs close to 6,000 signatures by July to get their initiative on the ballot. The initiative would require a new jail be built within specific downtown parameters. Petitioners are confident they can get it done and find support.

"This is the American way and this is the way the process works in this country and to be a part of this is for me pretty exciting," said Marshall Adams.

"I'm going to get as many signatures as I can," said Craig Trimmer, a Toledo resident against the new jail being built on North Detroit Avenue. "Let everybody know what's being done, what could be done and hope for the best."

You can see people collecting signatures for the petition as soon as Wednesday. Several say they are eager to get started and get as many Toledo voters as possible.

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