GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The proposed Greene County Jail Levy on the November 2 ballot this year would replace the current 52-year-old Greene County Jail downtown, while also making major upgrades to justice services.
“It’s part of my responsibility is to make sure while the inmates are in our custody that they’re taken care of,” said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.
If the levy does get approved, it would create a temporary sales tax for Greene County citizens which would fund the new criminal justice center. The center, estimated in 2019 to cost $53 million dollars.
“The Sheriff’s 3 properties that they operate right now, The Greene County Jail, The Adult Detention Center, and the administration center and put it under one roof,” said Greene Co. Sheriff’s Office, Jail Administrator Major Kirk Keller.
Both Major Keller and Sheriff Fischer say conditions within the jail are unfavorable for both inmates and workers. “The square footage, the opportunity to provide space for the staff and the inmates. It’s just not up to current standards. It’s just not safe for current staff nor the inmates,” said Major Keller.
WDTN was given a one on one tour to get an inside look at the jail conditions including broken pipes, cracked and leaking ceilings, and rusted bathing conditions for inmates.
Major Keller says the sales tax if approved would be a quarter of 1%. “So for every 100 dollars someone spends in Greene County that hundred dollars will generate a quarter of income for the facility,” said Major Keller.
Early voting has already started for the November 2nd election. However, The Board of Elections is closed for Columbus Day but reopens October 12th.