Update: Feds deal setback to Chocowinity jail - WNCN: News, Weather

Update: Feds deal setback to Chocowinity jail

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The Beaufort County Jail committee met again Wednesday afternoon to discuss plans for the construction of a new jail.

Commissioners pushing for the project were hoping to use a loan backed by the federal government to pay for the jail.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture says they must first hold a referendum.

At the meeting, Finance Manager Jim Chrisman discussed the funding options the board has and says more public hearings are needed.

He's expected to present financing alternatives at the board of commissioner's meeting August 4th.

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The federal government informed Beaufort County commissioners if they want to borrow money to build a jail, they must hold a referendum.The cost of a new jail in Chocowinity would be $20 million which some of the commissioners were hoping would be paid for by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan.

Opponents like Donna Lay of the Stop the Jail committee feel their voices have been heard.

"I like that news! I'm thrilled!" Lay said. "It has been way too long. these commissioners have done this type of thing for a long time."

County vice chairman and jail supporter Al Klemm. said the USDA loan is no longer an option for them as he fears the vote wouldn't pass.

The board is now looking at different funding sources which Klemm said will cost more.

"When you're elected as a Beaufort County commissioner, you're elected to represent the citizens of Beaufort County, and that means the citizens plus you do the business of Beaufort County," Klemm said. "Beaufort County has a substandard infrastructure at the sheriff's office and also at the jail."

The county will have a meeting of its jail committee tomorrow at three to discuss the jail's funding.
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