County Moves Ahead With New Jail Plans

Bay County’s new jail will be smaller than originally planned.

Bay County commissioners downsized plans for the new jail at a Tuesday meeting. They say they simply can’t afford the new larger jail. The county would have to exhaust its entire bonding capacity to pay for it.

Six hundred eighty new beds with 410 already in use at the Jail Annex in Bayou George would give the county almost 1,100 inmate beds. That would be enough to allow the county to demolish the old county jail on Harmon Ave across the street from the courthouse.

After deciding on the size, the county voted 4 to 1 to solicit proposals to build and operate the new jail.

Commission George Gainer voted no saying he would like to see separate bids for building and operating the facility.