In an effort to provide healthier and safer living conditions for inmates, the Dane County Board unanimously approved a resolution Thursday evening to move forward with a contractor that will make improvements for the county jail.
The resolution will take a look at how the board is going to take recommendations for the jail and implement them, Supervisor Hayley Young, District 5, said.
The jail won’t necessarily be remodeled or restructured, but it will receive the necessary changes to better living conditions for inmates, Young said. Some of the changes will address updating HVAC systems and replacing water pipes, which are currently contaminated with lead.
But some supervisors, like Supervisor Ronn Ferrell, District 15, feel these changes are not enough.
“We shouldn’t be moving to design a band-aid,” Ferrell said. “We should be moving much quicker to a final solution.”
Despite this criticism, Young said this is a band-aid the county jail “really, really” needs.
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The major operation for the jail, however, comes in the form of a $4 million plan proposed by Supervisor Paul Rusk, District 12.
The Public Protection and Judiciary committee and the Personnel and Finance Committee previously approved of the overall plan. In the coming weeks, the Dane County Board will meet to review and make amendments to it.
Construction at the jail is expected to begin in June of next year.