TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's no secret the location of the new Lucas County Jail has been highly contested.
Commissioners believe the north Detroit Avenue location is the right spot for the new jail while residents living in the area are fighting against it.
About a month ago, neighbors created a petition that they hope keeps the jail in Downtown Toledo.
"I'd say keep it downtown by the politicians so they are close to it," said one resident at the Toledo Tea Party meeting on Monday night.
While the Lucas County Commissioners have purchased the land on north Detroit Ave, a grassroots organization formed to keep the jail in downtown Toledo. They created a petition a little less than a month ago and already have more than 60 people gathering signatures to keep it within the downtown parameters.
"It's been a lot of work on the legs you know out there pounding the pavement and it's tiring," said Dan Warner, a member of the "Keep the Jail in Downtown Toledo" group. "But we feel confident, we feel very confident that we're going to meet our goal."
They need a minimum of around 5,300 signatures by the end of June to put their initiative on the ballot, but are hoping to gather more than 10,000 signatures. Leaders believe they are on pace to make their goal.
Already they have gathered several signatures and are constantly meeting people across the city to spread their message whether going door-to-door, showing up at events across town or attending meetings like the Toledo Tea Party's meeting Monday.
"There's just all sorts of issues with this, so our proposal is let's keep the jail downtown," announced the group at the meeting.
Bill Delaney said for him the decision to sign the petition was easy.
"Why spend all that money in traveling and why spend money out here to travel when it would be right downtown?" questioned Delaney, a Toledo resident. "They don't have to move, makes no sense."
Leaders from the group "Keep the Jail in Downtown Toledo" say their efforts have been welcomed by Toledoans.
"It's been very positive," said Dan Warner, a petitioner collecting signatures. "I've had very few people that have decided not to participate as far as I'm not going to sign that, very few and far between."
WTOL spoke with Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada on the phone. She said the county is confident in their proposal and believe they have a compelling story for voters come November, but petitioners say they are confident they can keep the jail in Downtown Toledo.