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Toledo City Council has an item on its agenda to spend
$15,000 as part of a regional jail study being conducted by Lucas County.
The goal is to build a new detention center to replace
the current jail which has the county under a long-standing federal order to
address issues of overcrowding.
"The county spends 60, 70 percent of its entire operating
budget on the court system and the jail," said Commissioner Pete Gerken. "It's
a huge question, but it's something we have to do."
A $75,000 study is being paid for through funding by the
state, the county and the city.
"The City of Toledo sends 70 percent or better of our
jail population, so they're a natural partner for us as we talk about a
feasibility study, which tells you how big a building should be, how things
should flow into it to make it efficient," Gerken said.
He says this phase is about putting together an action
plan so the jail project becomes a reality sooner rather than later.
"Size to me is one of the first elements," he said. "Size
will drive you to a location that's appropriate and how much money you need to
build it. You're going to see in May a document that's going to tell us what we
need to do next."