FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On Thursday, Allen County Council members will meet to vote on a modification to the local income tax rate to help fund a new Allen County Jail. Tuesday morning, Allen County Commissioners sent a letter to council members outlining how to pay for the multi-million dollar facility.

The debate over building a new jail has been contentious ever since a federal judge got involved last year regarding overcrowding and treatment concerns at the jail that was predicated by a federal lawsuit filed by an inmate.

At a status hearing last week, Judge Damon R. Leichty said he’d seen no solution other than building a new jail which he described as being “at the end of its useful life.”

In its letter, which can be read here, commissioners included the following funding proposal:

  1. Put $15M of ARPA Revenue Replacement toward the project cost
  2. Put $10M of General Fund Cash toward the project cost
  3. Adopt a Correctional LIT rate of .15% to generate Net Proceeds of between $270-288M
  4. Pledge $1M annually from CEDIT toward annual bond payments
  5. After construction is complete, evaluate Correctional LIT rate, and lower if prudent

The letter concludes with a paragraph stating that the proposal provides “enough buffer to accommodate the unknown bidding environment and interest rates and leaves enough money in the General Fund to handle known upcoming projects.”

WANE 15 is working to get reaction to the funding proposal.