Greene Co. voters to decide on sales tax for new jail

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XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The steps and bricks outside the Greene County Sheriff’s Office are literally crumbling. It’s part of the reason a third party consultant recommended a new building. 

“This building was called an embarrassment,” said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.

Sheriff Fischer had four options for a new county jail and sheriff’s office. Those have now been narrowed down to one.

“It will allow us to be a more efficiently-run organization. We got a lot of things that are tying us down right now,” Fischer said.

On Tuesday, county commissioners approved for a sales tax to be added to the March ballot in order to move forward with the project plans.

If approved, Greene County shoppers could pay an additional point .25% tax on all purchases for 12 years.  It’s estimated to generate $7 million a year 

“With the sales tax, you just hit it a little bit every time you spend money versus just the property owners in Greene County paying for it. I think that’s the way to go,” Fischer said.

The new building would hold 500 beds and a new Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Fischer wants to see the adult detention center converted into a facility to address mental health, addiction or rehabilitation. The plan would cost roughly $70 million. 

“The need is there, that’s been proven. How you pay for it is what the commissioners are asking the citizens to tell us,” Fischer said.

Sheriff Fischer says its about building facilities for the future at today’s cost. Greene County voters can expect to see this issue on the March 17 ballot. 

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