Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Sites for Kenton jail topic of 2 meetings

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Hearings on leading sites for a new Kenton County Jail have been tentatively scheduled for the evenings of May 18 and 25.

        “They will probably be in a couple of locations, so that they are accessible to people who have an interest and concern in the jail,” said Kenton Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd. No times have been set for the hearings.

        While Kenton Fiscal Court had hoped to announce the leading jail sites at Tuesday's meeting, Mr. Murgatroyd said county officials were not ready to do so. Instead, the fiscal court hopes to announce the leading sites at its regular meeting next Tuesday. It will be at 7:30 p.m. in Independence.

        Deputy Judge-executive Scott Kimmich said a Realtor is still trying to secure options on some of the six to eight sites under consideration.

        The only one that's been publicly disclosed — a former Covington junkyard at Interstate 275 and Ky. 17, or the 3L Highway, has generated opposition from residents of nearby Fort Wright and Edgewood, who have ex pressed concerns about their safety and the jail's effect on development in the area.

        On Tuesday, Edgewood Councilman Dale Henson gave the fiscal court another 370 signatures from jail opponents in his city, bringing the total to 3,117.

        “That represents one-third of Edgewood's population,” said Mr. Henson, who thanked county officials for listening to residents' concerns.

        The previous fiscal court had recommended a jail be built at the 3L site to replace the crowded inefficient facility in downtown Covington.

        County officials are considering building a $17 million to $18 million, one- or two-story jail to house 576 inmates by the year 2010 and 700 to 750 prisoners by 2020.

        The current jail's capacity is 262, but recently, the population has hovered around 325.


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- Sites for Kenton jail topic of 2 meetings