County Commissioners want the county’s jail sales tax oversight board to consider potential uses for the old jail on the west side of the courthouse complex.
The building will be partially vacant come January when prisoners are moved to the new jail on Franklin Road. County officials on Monday outlined potential uses for the building which opened in 1983.
· Holding cells for prisoners waiting court hearings
· A public intoxication alternative center
· Lease to the federal government for federal prisoners in transport
· Contract with the state for a regional youth offender center
· Tear it down for parking
· More county office space. (The sheriff currently uses about half of the first floor for offices).
“I think we ought to formulate about three or four ideas and then hold public hearings,” District 1 Commissioner Rod Cleveland said Monday.
The detox center, proposed years ago by Sheriff Joe Lester when he was director of public safety at the University of Oklahoma, could serve the county and the University of Oklahoma. It would allow those picked up for public intoxication to get referred for counseling and treatment.
“It’s something they explored for the past 20 years but they haven’t had funding,” Lester told commissioners.
District 3 Commissioner Rusty Sullivan said he’s been told that leftover sales tax money, not spent on the new jail, can be spent on the site if it’s directly related to the new jail.
In other action Monday, commissioners tabled a countywide burn ban resolution.
The state removed the ban from central Oklahoma counties but safety director Dan Cary said conditions are still favorable for wildfires. If the dry conditions and winds persist this week, they will revisit the ban.
The county called a special meeting for 1:40 p.m. Wednesday to discuss and take action on a payment in the amount not to exceed $2 million from Cleveland County Health Department to the Bank of Oklahoma refunding the Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma Inc, Revenue Bonds 2000 Series B for the Cleveland County Health Department Project.