The planned addition of two pods at the satellite, one with 26 beds for special needs prisoners and one with 48 beds for the general inmate population, will enlarge the facility to 216 standards-compliant beds.
About a dozen speakers argued against the jail project and the use of the county’s ARPA money for jail construction, with some urging the county to put more money into community programs and to wait to see the impact of bail reform when the state’s Pre-Trial Fairness Act takes effect in 2023.
Housing prisoners out of county not only costs the county money, the sheriff said it makes it more difficult for those prisoners to meet with their attorneys and for their families to visit them.
Sheriff Dustin Heuerman said as of Thursday, he had 193 inmates in the two county jail facilities and 67 in other county jails.
The plan approved will allow for vacating the deteriorating jail in downtown Urbana and consolidating at the satellite location.
In voting to move ahead, the board also approved how the project will be funded — with $5 million of the county’s federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, $13 in revenue bonds to be repaid over 20 years and the rest in capital funding.