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I'll admit it. I was against Taylor County building its own jail.
But here we are, preparing for the opening of the 200-plus bed detention center to house our - and hopefully other counties' - prisoners.
When discussions began about the possibility of building a new jail to go along with the state-funded judicial center, I was immediately reluctant.
How will we pay for this without raising taxes? Will there be enough inmates to go around? Will we be able to negotiate contracts with other counties? Will we be sorry we did this?
Under former Judge/Executive Paul Patton's direction, Fiscal Court members unanimously voted to begin the process.
Now, quite some time later, and with a new leader at the helm, the doors are preparing to open and the cells are just about ready to begin allowing inmates to serve their debts to society.
My reasons for being against the jail were what I think are legitimate concerns that I have heard from several people in the community.
What if the inmates escape? Will the jail really make money? If housing our inmates in other counties is working, why change anything?
In today's growing economic crisis, everyone is looking at their finances a bit differently, trying to save each and every penny.
Taylor Countians have been told by several jail officials that our jail could actually make us money. I guess we'll have to see what happens in a year or two.
I have to wonder, though, are we really prepared for the jail to open? Do we really know what we have done?
I'm glad the jail won't be on the bypass near Miller Park. I, like others, thought that was just a terrible idea. I can't think of anything worse than having a jail full of inmates near our children.
I am also glad that the jail will be connected to our new courthouse, which I think was badly needed and will be a beautiful building. It does strike me odd, however, that Kentucky residents have been told the state's financial situation isn't the best but new and improved courthouses are popping up all over the state.
After it's all said and done, our new jail will cost us more than $18 million and more than $1 million in operational expenses each year.
It's always scary to find out what you are really going to be paying for something after taxes and interest are added. This is no exception.
I certainly hope the jail is successful and stays full.
I have faith in Taylor County Jailer Rick Benningfield. I know he, and the other jail officials, are preparing diligently for the jail's opening.
I also have faith in Taylor County Treasurer Melissa Williams. She has the difficult task of paying the bills and figuring out where the money to pay those bills will come from.
I sure wouldn't want their jobs.