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Allen County Commissioners urged to wait on jail construction

Rendering of the proposed Allen County jail by Elevatus Architecture
Elevatus Architecture
Rendering of the proposed Allen County jail by Elevatus Architecture

The Allen County Commissioners are waiting for necessary funding before moving ahead with construction of the new Allen County jail.

At a Friday morning meeting, the commissioners approved payments for Weigand construction to pay the company for the pre-construction work it has been doing over the last year. The commissioners said they will pay with cash on hand instead of financing the cost over multiple years after the Allen County Council voted down that proposal.

The commissioners need the Allen County Council to fund the $5.925 million they requested for each year of the 30-year construction lease Allen County will pay the Building Corporation for the jail.

The commissioners said that money was what was requested by the Allen County Council, and yet was still voted down at a meeting last week.

"I find it troubling," Commissioner Nelson Peters said. "(The Allen County Council's) rules keep changing."

Allen County Commissioners Chief of Staff Chris Cloud recommended not to begin construction until they can secure funding for the annual payments to the Building Corporation.

Allen County Councilman Ken Fries, who has voted against each proposal for the new jail from the beginning, said he was never part of an agreement on the $5.925 million.

The Allen County Commissioners are due back in federal court for a status update on Feb. 13.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.