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DeKalb County Deciding Next Steps To Fund New Criminal Justice Center Or New School

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
DeKalb County Deciding Next Steps To Fund New Criminal Justice Center Or New School

DeKalb County Commission faces a decision soon: fund a new county jail project or a new school project in the near future.

County Mayor Matt Adcock said the county has been working on options for a new justice center after becoming aware the current facility is close to becoming decertified. He said that the school system has also recently put in a request for a new Pre-K through 2nd-grade elementary school.

“That’s kind of what’s thrown a wrench in us, we don’t know if we want to fund a criminal justice center first or an elementary school first,” Adcock said. “That’s something that the county commission is going to have to decide, they’re the funding body of the county. So which project would they want to fund?”

Adcock said that he has been in close contact with experts who build jails and school buildings to get their input. He said he has floated the idea of using the current Smithville Elementary School building as the new justice center and building a new school building. Adcock said his reasoning would be that it could save the county a lot of money.

Adcock said they are still exploring options to navigate the decision process. He said the immediate priority of the commission is to pass the current fiscal year budget, which is set for public hearing on Monday, June 26th. After that, Adcock said they will begin having jail meetings again to continue the process.

“’24-’25 we’re looking at some kind of funding source to fund these projects and I think that’s the route and direction we’re going,” Adcock said. “We’ve got new commissioners and I’m a new Mayor myself, so we’re just kind of dipping our feet in the water at this point in this budget year and trying to maintain our obligations that we already have. So that’s why we’ve increased our tax rate to where it is to get us above the water and get us out of the deficit.”

Adcock said in his personal opinion and based on what they know at this point, he feels like he would prioritize the criminal justice center between the two. He said that is only because the county is actively being decertified. He said there does not seem to be much of an overcrowding issue right now, and that this new school is more so planning for the future.


The post DeKalb County Deciding Next Steps To Fund New Criminal Justice Center Or New School appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.