EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – Are plans to renovate the aging Madison County Jail being rushed? That’s what one board member thinks, despite the County board voting to approve $18 million in general obligation bonds during their meeting Wednesday.
Board member Mick Madison, who voted no on the plans, says he is not against the project entirely, but several questions are being left unanswered.
“I know there are many things that really do need to be done on that jail for safety standards, and I’m not against those things,” he said. “[But] they basely kind of rushed this thing in at the end.
“I have some questions about whether the project is really worth $18 million or not.”
Madison and others opposed to the plans question why the renovation isn’t designed to add any beds since county officials point to overcrowding. The jail, which was designed to hold 100 inmates, now holds 300.
Along with overcrowding, Board Chair Alan Dunstan said the jail needs a sprinkler system and ventilation system, if they want to keep passing state inspections.
Following the boards decision, bonds will begin to be issued over the next two months.
Madison says he and other opponents will start collecting the 18,000 signatures necessary to put the matter up for a vote. They have 30 days to get those signatures.
The bond issue did not require a voter referendum because every county is required to have and maintain a jail.
Madison suggested the county should look at expanding the jail along with other methods of borrowing besides bonds.