Saturday, July 07, 2001

Another jail site gets a look

Kenton considers Pike-Washington corner in Covington

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Officials in Kenton County and Covington asked Southbank Partners Inc. on Friday to analyze whether an area west and south of Pike and Washington streets here would be suitable for a new Kenton County Jail and county administration center.

        Southbank will immediately begin work on the free study, and will report its recommendations by Sept. 30. As with Southbank's previous study on other potential jail sites, there will be no interim reports.

        “This site has obvious long-term economic benefits for the heart of Covington,” Mayor Butch Callery said after meeting with Kenton Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd and representatives of Southbank. “It will be an outstanding plus for all of us if this study supports our belief that this is an excellent site for the new jail and county administrative center.”

        For nearly three years, Kenton County officials have tried to find a jail site — whether that means expanding and renovating the current jail at 303 Court St., or building elsewhere. Meanwhile, the jail has been operating at or above capacity.

        “My goal is to ensure that all the residents of Kenton County are provided with a long-term solution to the corrections issue in a detention facility that is both cost effective to build and operate,” Mr. Murgatroyd said Friday. “I have said since taking office that I would welcome a recommendation from the city of Covington, and I believe the site they have proposed is worthy of examination, as the commissioners and I gather data with which to make a final decision. ... I am willing to take a wait-and-see approach, as (Southbank) compares this site with others we have discussed.”

        Last month, Covington City Commissioner Alex Edmondson suggested the area be studied as a potential site for a new jail and county administrative center.


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