The Morehead News

Local News

September 20, 2013

New jail location decision getting closer

Sept. 20, 2013 —     Final decisions are being made on the location of the new Rowan County Detention Center.

    Rowan Fiscal Court Tuesday authorized Judge-Executive Jim Nickell and County Attorney Cecil Watkins to negotiate with property owners for the purchase of land for the jail.

    Deputy Judge-Executive Jerry Alderman said the proposed location was not being disclosed because the jail committee has not completed the purchase negotiations.

    The committee is comprised of Nickell, Watkins, Magistrate Harry Clark and Jailer Don Hall.

    Eighteen pieces of property were submitted to the jail committee as potential locations for the new facility.

    Eight of these properties were located on or near KY 801. This caused some concern for area residents.

    Several attended Tuesday's Fiscal Court meeting to present a petition asking that the new jail not be constructed near their homes.

    “Our petition states we want to protect the quality of life for ourselves, our neighbors and the influx of visitors to our area,” said resident Carolyn Black. “We highly encourage an alternate building site be accepted.”

    The petition contained nearly 600 signatures from citizens living in the area.

    Nickell questioned where the residents received their information. He said the jail committee did look at property on KY 801 but there were never any plans to construct the new facility there.

    “A jail is going to be built,” Nickell said. “But not on 801.”

    Nickell suggested residents consider putting together a petition asking for zoning regulations in the area.

    “If I were living in an area that's growing rapidly, I would look for some zoning regulations,” Nickell said. “It will help you in the future. This issue you brought to the Court this morning is the exact reason why you need it.”

    The county has until 2016 to construct the new jail. The existing Rowan County Detention Center is owned by Morehead State University as the result of a land swap/sale in 2009.

    Alli Collis can be reached at acollis@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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