Letter: Economic uncertainty should curtail new jail spending

To the Editor:

The Dubois County Commissioners have decided to go forward with a new County Jail that includes the Courts, or a Justice Center as they call it. A planned new jail is to cost $30 million and now the new Justice Center will be an additional $11 to $12 million, all of this to be paid with a county income tax. As far as I know, there has not been any discussion of just how much people will have taken from their paychecks to pay for this, or how long it will take to pay for this project.

Dubois County has a courthouse with three courtrooms as well as offices for all the people including Judges that work in the courts. There is room for hearings, places for Lawyers to conference with their clients, Jury rooms, pretty much all that is needed to hold court proceedings in a building that is historic, well cared for, and does not cost us millions of dollars. So why should we pay to move a court that will be smaller since it will have only two courtrooms, and less convenient for folks that go to the courthouse for things like marriage licenses?

There is a County Council/Commissioner meeting on Monday the 21, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. to finalize this thing, but very little information as to why this is needed and why we have to move the court has been made public. 

I urge the Council and the Commissioners to hold a meeting at a time when the public can attend and get answers as to why they have changed their plans, and why this kind of money has to be spent when we are going through this time of economic uncertainty.

Dan Kreilein, Jasper