Madison Co. commissioners approve another $242K for new sheriff’s office

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Madison County commissioners approved more money Monday for renovations at the new sheriff’s office. It was the first meeting for eight newly elected commissioners.

“I was prepared for everything that came up, and no surprises so far,” Madison County Commissioner Carl Alexander said.

In a close 13-7 vote, with three abstentions and two people absent, the commission voted to spend another $242,732 on renovation projects at the new Madison County Sheriff’s Office, located at the former West Middle School.

Commission Chairman Gary Deaton voted for it and said the project cost the county about $2 million. “We really haven’t spent more money there than we would have spent if we had stayed in the old building,” he said.

County leaders said the money will pay for HVAC, a shed for vehicles and equipment, building supplies, data processing equipment, and other expenses.

Commissioner Michael Taylor voted against it. “I just want to make sure that we’re not robbing our fund balance right now,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of large projects coming up with some debt that we’ve got to take care of, and I just want to plan for the future and not just for today.”

Commissioner Brett Beckham also voted against it. “I also had maybe some questions about the specifics of what it was going to,” he said.

Commissioner Jeff Wall voted to give the money to the sheriff’s office. He said the county has to get the training center up and going. “This should be, if it’s not it should be, the last of the requests needed to actually get that finished,” he said.

Madison County Sheriff John Mehr originally told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News he hoped to move into the new facility by Spring 2017, but that didn’t happen until summer 2018.

Commissioners also approved $20,000 to buy a new washing machine at the jail. It will go to the new facility once that is completed.

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