Antrim Co. Commissioners Hold Community Forum on New Jail for Bellaire

A community forum was held in Bellaire to discuss plans for a new jail.

The county says the jail isn’t functional any more and they want to build a new one. It would be either in its existing location or on the outskirts of Bellaire, in a lot across from the Meadowbrook Care Facility.

The first part of the jail was built in 1954 and is structurally sound but needs updates to make it safer and more accessible for jail staff to communicate with each other and watch over inmates.

Initial upgrade estimates put a price tag of at least $19 million on the project.

Tuesday night’s meeting will help commissioners decide what the next steps of the project will be.

“Tonight the focus is going to be ‘father round all you county residents and tell us what you want’, tell us what the best plan is. Right now we are an open book,” Antrim County administrator Pete Garwood said.

After the meeting commissioners will look at the comments to guide their decision on where to put the jail.

Then they’ll draw mockups of the structure.