Jail group asking for public input as it moves ahead

In its fourth meeting, a citizen planning committee looking at options involving the old jail complex has changed its name from the Marion County Jail Project Advisory Committee to Marion County Public Safety and Law Enforcement Center Committee.

?Too many people think this is about a jail, but it?s more than that,? one committee member said at the meeting Monday in Hillsboro. ?The committee is charged with looking at an entire complex to include a jail, emergency management/preparedness and 911 dispatch.?

One member of the committee said it seems people in the smaller towns don?t see this as their problem.

?It?s not a Marion or Hills?boro problem,? another member said. ?Whether you live in Tampa, Ramona, Lost Springs or any of the other towns in Marion County, everyone who owns a home would be affected.?

For that reason, the committee is moving full speed ahead by requesting the commissioners attend the next meeting tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, in Hillsboro.

?We want to know if the commissioners are onboard with us at this point,? a member said.

If the commissioners agree with a special assessment on every household in Marion County of no more than $10 a month for 10 years, one committee member said, no general election is needed.

Should the commissioners attend next week?s meeting, the committee not only plans to ask them about the financing option, but also about architectural designs for a 26-bed minimum jail (but not more than 38 to 40 beds), selling of bonds for the project and acquisition of land for building at a new location.

The committee also wants to hear from everyone in the county about their concerns related to funding a new facility using a special assessment.

The committee also wants to hear from Marion County residents at this point in the process. ?Maybe someone has a question or concern, but wants to remain anonymous,? a member said.

Anyone wanting to offer his or her input to the committee is asked to either e-mail them to staff@hillsborofreepress.com or mail them anonymously to Hillsboro Free Press, 116 S. Main, Hillsboro, KS 67063.

All mail will be presented to the committee at its next meeting June 9 so all 15 members group can review correspondence at the same time.

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