Snyder backs Wayne County Jail relocation proposal
LANSING — Governor Rick Snyder issued a statement Aug. 14 in support of a proposal to relocate the Wayne County Jail complex to Mound Road, where former Mound Correctional Facility, which closed in January 2012, was located.
Gov. Snyder says the proposal recognizes the resurgence of downtown Detroit and the significant economic benefits that would come from having the jail’s prime downtown location available for private sector development.
“Freeing up that location for private development, such as offices, hotels and restaurants, would expand the ongoing revitalization of downtown Detroit,” he wrote.
Developer Dan Gilbert has spent more than $1 billion in his acquisition and development of land in the downtown area.
Snyder says development in the downtown area would create jobs — construction and long-term employment — as well as expand the city’s tax base for years to come. He says the sooner the process to move the jail, the better.
“My team and I are ready to work with Wayne County officials and put this proposal to relocate the criminal justice facilities to Mound Road on a fast track.”
The new jail was set to open in September 2014; construction began in September 2011. The Wayne County Commission, prodded by Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, approved up to $300 million worth of bonds to finance the over-budgeted project.
It was supposed to save the county $20 million annually by consolidating three jails into one facility. To date, it’s over budget by $100 million.
This has prompted an internal investigation by the county’s auditor general. The details of the investigation will soon be released to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.