Time running out for jail feedback

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

WHITESBORO, Tex. -- Officials say the clock is ticking in Grayson County to receive feedback on a new jail. Sheriff Keith Gary, Judge Drue Bynum, and county commissioners have held several town hall meetings on the possibility of a new jail, the latest Monday in Whitesboro.

The Texas jail commission gave Grayson County more time to come up with a solution to the overcrowded, dilapidated jail. Officials say time is running out to hear what residents think is the best course of action.

Sheriff Keith Gary and Judge Drue Bynum both gave presentations tonight to the 11 general citizens at Whitesboro City Hall. They gave specific examples of structural problems with the current jail and offered possible solutions.

For example, Sheriff Gary says when the jail was built 25 years ago; the sewer system was designed for 85 inmates. Now it must support more than 300.

Judge Bynum says the new jail would cost at least $90 million dollars, and would raise taxes about thirty cents on the dollar for a bond election. They are considering hiring a private company to build the jail.

Whatever the decision, Sheriff Gary says it must be made soon.

Judge Bynum says one more forum is scheduled for next week in Denison.

Commissioners plan to make a decision on the jail in April or May. This would include where to put it, who would build it, etc.

They need to tell the jail commission by August.

Judge Bynum is compiling a list of resident feedback. He asks the public to e-mail their comments to his assistant at pattersond@co.grayson.tx.us.

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  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Jan 15, 2008 at 08:40 PM
    Note to webmaster: when you list 2 very similar stories (in this case, about the jail), perhaps you could combine the posted comments. With that said, I belive most people believe we need a new jail. The question is whether we build and operate our own jail, or contract with a private company to build and operate a new jail for our prisoners. The County is only giving us two choices, 1)privitization, or 2)a $90-$140million jail that will take care of our needs for 20 years. Option #1 they say, will not cost us anything. That of course, cannot be true. It will cost us, but we aren't being told how much. Option #2 does not provide us with the opportunity to build a smaller, readily expandable jail that will take care of our current needs, and allow exapansion as we need it AND as we can better pay for it. It is clear the Co Judge wants privitization. He knows no one will go for a 30c tax increase, but tells us it is our only option to privitization. We deserve better.
  • by Bill Location: Southmayd on Jan 15, 2008 at 12:47 PM
    Yes we need a new jail,read the headlines there is more crime in this area than ever before.Even if our taxes are raised it will be worth it cause it will only get worse and we need a place to put these purps.Oh and build it next to my house.
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