Community says “no” to new Shiawassee County Jail

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the Shiawassee County jail faces countless violations including electrical and plumbing problems…even mold and asbestos. A proposal for a new jail was on yesterday’s ballot, but the people weren’t for it. 

“I voted no. can’t afford it,” Don Kadlechik said. 

 There were 10,0001 total votes last night and 70 percent of those votes were “no’s.”

“My neighbor– he voted no and I got a friend of mine he voted no,” Kadlechik said. 

 He, along with others we spoke to say they just don’t agree with the price tag. 

“If it would drop down I would consider it yeah, because that wouldn’t be so hard on my taxes,” Kadlechik said. 

Many people also say they don’t understand why the current jail can’t be fixed and how it got this bad in the first place. 

“They haven’t done anything. I don’t understand that….why they let it go so long and now all of a sudden now we gotta have a new one,” Kadlechik said. 

The jail is the 9th oldest in the state and Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole says the way it was designed– makes it difficult to service and maintain. 

Shiawassee County Commissioner Gary Holzhausen said the jail might be old, but it can still function.

“I think we could do you know some repairs and fix it and get by like everything else. a lot of buildings- all these buildings are old and we can’t repurpose them all,” Commissioner Holzhausen said. 

 For now, temporary fixes are what they’ll have to do. 

“This county is struggling anyway. Forty percent of the people in the county are struggling. They said we can’t afford everything new. We’ll just have to get by, and do some work over there and struggle along,” Commissioner Holzhausen said. 

We spoke with Sheriff BeGole on the phone as well as Commissioner Dan McMaster. They say now that they have more feedback from the public they’ll focus on the short term issues that need immediate fixing and will go back to the drawing board for a new proposal that could be seen on another ballot in 2021. 

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