FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Following the events that took place with county council Thursday morning, where they agreed on a .11 percent rate increase which was approved on a 4-3 vote, one Allen County Commissioners said “there were a lot of misstatements” and “bald lies”
The “misstatements” and “bald lies” they say are in reference to how much a new jail would cost.
During Thursday’s vote, county council first voted against approving a tax rate increase of .12 percent before agreeing on a .11 percent rate. That would set total funding for the jail at nearly $317 million, short of the $320 million anticipated cost of the facility.
Allen County Commissioners vocalized to WANE 15 Friday that the approved income tax increase is a huge let down.
“I believe that communication was one way in some aspects,” said Therese Brown, Allen County Commissioner. “We were under the impression that there was a dollar amount that they were thinking of as of last Thursday and it was a shock to us that they were going to go as low as they did.”
WANE 15 asked Allen County Commissioner, Richard Beck how commissioners will be able to clear the lower approved total cost for the new facility.
“We will find out what the cost is when bids come in and how we clear,” said Beck. “We will have to go back to the table if there is not enough money to meet the need of the new jail.”
Allen County Commissioner, Nelson Peters went into how future road and highway projects may not happen because of the county council decision on the income tax rate.
“Today you saw $660,000 worth of highway projects that were approved next year at this time,” said Peters. “Because of the acts that were taken, you may not see that same $660,000 worth of highway projects that were approved.”
Commissioner Peters also mentioned that in partnership with the city of Fort Wayne, a warranty deed was approved today for a road project on Diebold Road. Unless they county has those dollars for the project, County Commissioners will have to tell the city of Fort Wayne they cannot do this necessary project because of the approval made by county council Thursday. The exact cost of the jail is still unknown and county council could raise the jail tax at a later date.
Now, the next step is for County Council to send their progress report to Federal Judge Damon Leichty who will decide if enough has been done to make plans for the future of the Allen County Jail.