KANSAS CITY, Mo. — City council members are expected to take a step toward working with Jackson County on a regional jail later this week.
Kansas City council members will vote on a resolution telling the city manager to negotiate with the county, according to Jackson County Legislator Dan Tarwater.
“So, it looks like they want to move forward and I know they had a meeting with the administration, and that’s great. But, they want to partner with us and they may have not just a little contribution, but a very substantial contribution to partner in a regional facility,” Tarwater said during a meeting Monday morning.
“I understand that it definitely will pass. I think they said they had at least nine votes out of the 12,” Tarwater said.
He met with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and other city leaders in June about the benefit of combining plans and building only one detention facility.
Jackson County is two years into the process of spending $256 million to build a new jail on 40 Highway, which would have 1,244 beds for inmates.
While they welcome the partnership, Jackson County Legislators said they aren’t waiting around for city leaders to decide if they want in on the new detention facility.
“Until this body votes in the majority to agree to work with the city, and the administration agrees to it, this is just a possibility,” Jalen Anderson, Blue Springs, said. “It’s completely unofficial until it’s voted on.”
Tarwater also provided some additional information about any future deal that could eventually be in the works.
“They aren’t going to put their people with ours, they will staff their side, but they want a wing and about 200 people,” Tarwater.
Tarwater assured other legislators that the city has the capacity for shared facilities, whether it be a shared building, or shared property for other buildings. Those facilities could also include a shared kitchen and laundry services or even mental health services. Tarwater said it’s all open for discussion.
Legislators also point out there will come a time when Jackson County is too far along within the design and building process to include Kansas City’s needs in the facility.
The county is moving ahead on its timeline for the facility at this point.
Pre-construction work on the site began last month.
The next step is to present designs to the public, which is expected to happen in October, according to the Jackson County Department of Corrections and J.E. Dunn-Axiom, who will actually be involved in the construction.
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