(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - A new jail for Dearborn County may have to go to a public vote.
Interior view of the jail at the Dearborn
County Law Enforcement Center. County
officials are contemplating an expansion
of the jail to handle more inmates.
Dearborn County Sheriff's Department
Project planner RQAW, an Indianapolis-based architect firm, laid out six funding options before Dearborn County Commissioners Tuesday as some members of County Council looked on.
During a meeting in January, RQAW estimated the overall cost for a jail expansion at about $11.8 million, just under the $12 million threshold that would require the project to go to a county-wide referendum. New estimates presented Tuesday put the project cost between $12.7 million and $14.8 million.
Accountants from H.J. Umbaugh and Associates, also based in Indianapolis, presented six funding options based on the highest estimates. They each included the use of property taxes and riverboat funds.
The first option would use $475,000 in riverboat revenues then $855,000 from property tax revenues each year for 19 years. The $855,000 is the amount that the county has used to pay off building the current jail and courthouse renovations from 2003 and is scheduled to be paid off this year according to Commission President Jeff Hughes.
Option two would take $590,000 in riverboat revenue then $730,000 from property taxes over 19 years.
The third option uses $590,000 in riverboat funds then keep the property tax amount at $855,000 to be paid over 16 years. The cost would be lowered by $2 million dollars with the three years saved interest.
Options four, five, and six each use millions of dollars in riverboat funds up front while using bonds over 19 years.
Option four would immediately pay $5 million and another $9 million or more on bonds.
The fifth option would use $7 million up front from the county’s riverboat money and $7.9 million in bonds.
The final choice would take $9 million immediately with $5.89 million to be paid in bonds.
Dearborn County Council will have the final say on which funding option to use. Hughes said he would like commissioners to give a recommendation on which direction to take.
“Even if it doesn’t meet the $12 million, it should go to a voluntary referendum I think,” Hughes told Eagle 99.3 Wednesday.