Prior to my election as mayor, the history of our county jail expansions and additions was one directly related to increasing inmate population. The year 2011 saw property taxes increased 16.2 cents and monies were allocated to alleviating the overcrowding.
Immediately, the quick construction of a new 128-bed dorm as a lower cost solution of $1.74 million alleviated most of the jail overcrowding problem, leaving only the women’s unit with crowding concerns.
Anderson County citizens were then asked that, while current problems were being addressed, why not make plans to address potential overcrowding for years to come? This new $11 million+ addition of another 212 jail beds would carry us for at least the “next 10 years,” according to then-Interim Mayor Myron Iwanski (Commission meeting 4/18/2011). Not only would the new addition allow us room for growth for the future, we were told, but it would be designed with the latest design efficiencies put in place, therefore enabling a more efficient, cost-effective manner of operating our county jail. In fact, then-Interim Mayor Iwanski said “it’s going to be a whole lot less expensive” and a “much more efficient operation.” [Read more…]