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Local

Board approves funds for new Lee County Jail

DIXON – The county plans to cover the remaining costs of the new jail with $4 million in bonds and $3 million in loans from other funds.

The Lee County Board recently approved $7 million for the law enforcement center project, which is slated to be built by September at 240 E. Progress Drive and is estimated to come in under the $18.5 million budget cap.

The $4 million in bonds will be paid back across 10 years, and the $3 million in inter-loan funds is split up, with $1.25 million from the county’s general fund, $1 million coming from the capital projects fund, and $750,000 from the solid waste fund.

The board previously issued about $10 million in bonds for the project.

The project footprint is about 41,000 square feet and will include a 94-bed jail, sheriff’s department, a sally port, space for storage, and a detention pond to alleviate flooding issues.

Design and construction management is being done by Cherry Valley-based Ringland-Johnson Construction, and the project is being funded by the half-percent sales tax increase county voters approved in 2017.

Talks are ongoing with what to do with the current aging facility at 122 W. Third St., which has failed to meet jail standards for years, and early plans were to demolish the building and construct a parking lot, at a cost upward of $1 million.

NEXT MEETING

The Lee County Board next meets at 6 p.m. April 16 in the third-floor boardroom of the Old Lee County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St.

The agenda will be posted at leecountyil.com 2 days before the meeting.

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