County Leaders Take First Step in an Effort to Expand Their Jail

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Midland County leaders say they are taking the next big step toward expanding the jail.

That step is to now take the issue to the citizens and let them decide if the expansion is necessary.

Sheriff Gary Painter and County Judge Mike Bradford say the county first had to evaluate its jail operation making sure they were making the most of every dollar spent.

Last March, the county hired a consulting firm.

The firm's findings will now be handed over to a five-member citizens group.

"We don't want them to think there's anything being hidden, if there's anything hiding behind a wall, we want everything out in the open.  And that is our key thing is to make sure everything is out in the open for the Citizen's group to see and to report back to the Citizens' themselves, and then we'll answer for what we've done," Sheriff Gary Painter, said.

Several new jail programs are now in place as a result of the consulting firm's sugestions saving taxpayers about $74-thousand a month.

The citizens group will review all the firm's findings and make its recommendation to County Commissioners.

If the group decides a jail expansion is needed, it would call for a bond election which could come up as soon as the November ballot.