KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Legislature voted Monday to jump-start a conversation with Kansas City, possibly making them a partner in the new county jail.

One commissioner called for a ‘pizza and beer’ summit to hammer out the details and also the growing price tag.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has responded to the move saying he’s pleased that the conversation is restarting.

During the Monday meeting Jackson County legislators shared an email dated back to June which was sent by KCMO City Manager Brian Platt. That email had a skeleton list of desires including 100-300 beds in the new Jackson County Jail.

Currently the city contracts heavily with rural jails, up to an hour away, to house municipal inmates.

“We can add those pods on for them. They can pay for those pods but then we’ll be sharing the laundry. We’ll be sharing the cafeteria – those types of things. So that’s a portion they can help us pay for,” Theresa Cass Galvin, 6th District Legislator for Jackson County, said.

Legislator Jalen Anderson, however, expressed skepticism that collaboration ‘would not lead’ to a bloated jail budget – leaving the county to flounder as interest rates rise.

“All I’m saying is, is that as we look at this and as we want to have a regional jail, do we know how much the jail’s actually going to cost? No. Do we have any understanding on how much we will have to pay each year toward the bond? No. Do we have understanding that even the jail can be built the way it is, that it should be, right now, as we’ve requested? No,” Anderson said.

“This would basically require us going back to square one to where we redesign, reconfigure. Whether we would have to go out for bid I’m not sure,” Jeanie Lauer, 5th district Legislator for Jackson County, said.

A spokesperson for Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr said White already has a meeting scheduled with the city on this issue and that the Jackson County Sheriff will need to be involved as the jail’s administrator.

But he is open-minded, a spokesperson said.

“We do not want to have to delay this process if we don’t have to considering all the work that we’ve put in thus far,” Marshanna Smith, spokesperson for White Jr, said.

Currently the jail is planned to have just over 1,200 beds. The main price point, and this is a maximum price until this point, has been shared as $256.5 million.

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