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Resolution for new Wood Co. Jail passes

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Jail Label in Wood County

UPDATE (6/15/21 5:30pm): Construction is set to start next spring for the new jail, right across from the old jail.

The price tag: $56 million.

"Financially it's our best option. It looks like a lot of money at once but we're bleeding money right now paying to have inmates out of the county. So this is going to benefit our community both safety wise. It's going to be less expensive for our community and we're going to be able to work with the people we have here," Laura Valenstein, Wood County Board Member, District 12, said.

While resident's homes won't physically be affected, property taxes will be going up.

About $30 for every $100,000 the home is worth. Officials say that having a new jail built now will save the county millions over keeping the old one.

"Over 50 years which is what we're calling the life of the jail, including the additional staff it's going to cost us $106 million dollars over that life span. If we do nothing and continue to maintain the jail that we have and pay for the out of county contracts that we have it would be about $164 million dollars," Valenstein said.

Law enforcement officials are also emphasizing how the project can help current inmates.

Saying that having a new jail will allow officials to offer better programs, and that potentially keep inmates from coming back after they've been released.

"We just didn't have the space to provide the mental health counseling and the opportunities to help out the people that are incarcerated right now because we know those folks are going to return to the community, they're going to do their time and we look at it as an opportunity to help them," Sheriff Shawn Becker, Wood County Sheriff's Department said.

The new jail will take about two years to complete, with the goal of opening in 2024.

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WOOD CO., Wis. (WAOW) — The Wood County Board of Supervisors has approved a project to build a new jail.

The resolution passes 18-1 on Tuesday morning.

The cost of the project is estimated to be around $58 million for a new jail and sheriff's office. The new facility will add 87 beds, bringing the total capacity in the county up to 225.

The construction could begin in 2022.

For taxpayers, the project means about another $30 in property taxes each year, starting in 2022.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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