- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

CADILLAC, Mich. (AP) - Wexford County officials are moving forward with plans to build a new jail within 1,000 feet of a grade school.

The county board of commissioners voted 8-1 Wednesday to survey the 10 acres of land donated to the county for the future jail site, WPBN-TV (https://bit.ly/1waKfEW ) reported. It will also start working to secure funding.

“Some of the issues we look at is proximity to the courthouse, proximity to the medical facility because we are responsible for the medical care of all prisoners, and good traffic access,” said Board Chair Leslie Housler.

Some residents oppose the plan because the land is near Northview Seventh-day Adventist School. Northview parent Kristi Schwartz said she’s worried about inmates being close to the school, where children play every day, and also the traffic going to and from the jail.

“We had no notification that this was coming until after it was already voted on and approved,” she said.

The facility would hold 158 people, up from 32 in the current jail. It’s designed with emergency entrances and only ceiling windows.

“I can understand the concern of the parents of the children at the school but on the other hand there are people walking the streets in the county that should be in jail and are not because we don’t have physical room to put them in jail,” said Housler. “Overall, I think the community will be safer.”

Commissioners hope to break ground next spring and finish construction by the end of 2015.

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Information from: WPBN-TV, https://www.tv7-4.com


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