Turnout heavy for Decatur jail chat

    For the second time in less than a week, Adams County officials Monday evening invited the public to be part of the conversation surrounding a proposed new county jail and superior court complex tentatively planned for downtown Decatur.
     But Monday’s meeting at Riverside Center differed from a similar event held in Geneva last week in several ways. While the Geneva meeting attracted some 20 visitors, Monday’s session attracted six or seven times that number. And while last week’s meeting was a mostly mild-mannered and cordial event, the Decatur meeting was somewhat less so.
     What started as a raucous meeting, complete with cat calls from the audience and an apparent obscenity which caused one man to be escorted from the room, eventually morphed into a series of discussions which mostly centered negatively around the proposed 1st Street site in Decatur that has been identified as the location of choice by Adams County Council members and county commissioners for the new judicial center.
      As was the case last week, county commission chairman Doug Bauman outlined what county officials believe to be the attributes of the preferred site, which would see a new superior court constructed on the west side of 1st Street, north of Madison Street (at the site of the former Shaffer building), with 50 parking spots to the north of that structure. A new 150-200 bed jail, work release center and sheriff’s office would be erected south of Madison Street on properties now occupied by the American Legion, Myers Furniture and a private residence. Additional parking would be available at the corner of Jefferson and 1st streets.
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