When I was first elected to the Bureau County Board in 2008, I was opposed to building a new jail. Halfway through my first tour of the jail, I changed my mind when I saw the dangerously cramped conditions our corrections officers and deputies had to work in.
Due to the design of the facility and the limitations of space at the current site, no amount of money can remediate the deficiencies, the safety problems, working conditions or lack of carrying capacity (beds) of the current facility.
I am in the last year of my third and final term on the county board. This issue is, by far and away, the biggest bit of unfinished business that rests before the board and the taxpayers of this county.
The vote we take in March will affect our county and our children for generations.
I urge all citizens of Bureau County to attend one of the jail tours, educational community meetings and/or visit the county website in future weeks to view information that will allow you to make an informed vote on this referendum, which will appear on March’s ballot.
Mike Kohr, Princeton
Note to readers: Mike Kohr represents District 18 on the Bureau County Board.