Big Apple Radio | Nebraska City, Nebraska

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Richardson County Pares Down New Jail Proposal

The Richardson County Board is considering replacing its 88-year-old jail in the upper level of the courthouse with a new jail by renovating the former National Guard Armory.

A conceptual plan estimated costs at $3.6 million, but Richardson County Sheriff Randy Houser described a jail proposal at the county board's meeting Tuesday that would cost under $2 million.

The proposal would provide inmate space for 24 beds, but does not include new office construction that was part of the conceptual plan.
Board Chairman David Sickle said it appears the county will go forward with the jail project without putting it on the ballot.

Sickle: "It kind of means we will probably be building a jail and we will try to finance it with a bond issue. In our situation, we really do need a jail."

Commissioner Jim Davidson said he is concerned about injuries to inmates or staff linked to deficiencies. He said citizens might ask why county commissioners did not do their job.

Jail standards require inmates to be separated due to convictions, gender, disease and other risk factors, but the county has only three options to segregate now.

Houser: "Right now we work with three options to house the inmates and having seven will give us enought to work with."

If Richardson County closes its jail, transporting inmates to Plattsmouth is expected to cost about $370,000 a year.

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