The City of Monroe will hold a Special Called Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. at the City of Monroe City Hall, 215 North Broad Street. The meeting is to address the proposed location for the new Walton County Jail and to put on record the Monroe City Council’s objection to it.
The official agenda follows.
JULY 27, 2021
I. CALL TO ORDER – JOHN HOWARD
1. Roll Call
II. NEW BUSINESS
1. Discussion – Walton County Public Safety & Jail Complex
2. Resolution – Opposing Jail Complex on East Church Street
The proposed location is 1125 E Church Street, which is located in a residential area that has undergone major revitalization in recent years. While most agree a new jail is needed, this location is not a popular choice with many Monroe city residents and officials. While it would be conveniently located behind the Walton County Government Building, which houses the courts, it is also within walking distance of three schools, a college, several churches and two children’s parks.
According to records, the property is being sold, with a partial donation, by Darrell McWaters of Reliant Homes. Plans are reportedly for three dormitories each holding about 270 inmates with expansion capabilities to eight dormitories. The plans for this new jail have reportedly been in the works for 10 years. While the jail has been a sore point in the community for several years, it was not widely known that this was the main location under consideration.
Monroe City Councilman David Dickinson, who has been very vocal about his objections to this location, which is in his district, has called for attendance at Monroe’s meeting Tuesday.
“This will be one of the most important votes ever taken by the Monroe City Council. I will make the motion for the Council to pass a resolution opposing the location of the new jail in the residential area of Church St and Hammond St as well as any other residential section of the City. If the County is going to build a new jail, it should be located in an industrial area and there are at least three such sites currently available. Furthermore, the County currently has only about $26 million of the $125 million that this jail will cost and no viable plan to get the additional $100 million. My District 8 ‘superdistrict’ covers half of the City and not a single resident has contacted me stating support for this plan whereas hundreds have expressed opposition. It is your City and County and your choice. If you do not live in the City and think this is not your problem, call your County Commissioners and ask them to tell you where they plan to get the extra $100 million dollars. There are far better alternatives and we are committed to working together with the County officials on those if they will work with us. if we do not get this right, everyone will suffer the consequences,” Dickinson said in a statement.
According to Walton County Board of Commissioners spokesperson Patrice Broughton, no Walton County Commissioners will attend the Monroe City Council Called meeting on Tuesday.