Wayne Co. to scrap million-dollar precast jail cells - KMSP-TV

Wayne Co. to scrap million-dollar precast jail cells

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(WJBK) -

The Wayne County Building Authority voted Wednesday to destroy the jail cells previously purchased for what is now the failed jail project. The purchase cost was about $1 million and the demolition cost will be about another $300,000.

"We insisted we had options, especially the option of completing the existing jail. We thought that they could not spend any money to deconstruct the jail, because we have ownership of that jail. They used construction money to destroy the jail cells," says Wayne Co. Commissioner Kevin McNamara.

He is running against county executive Robert Ficano and says the cells could have possibly been used elsewhere, but since they were custom built for here the County Building Authority agreed with Ficano and voted to get rid of them.

The county executive seems to be placing all of his faith in another plan - moving the jail and the courts to the Mound Road site, hoping Dan Gilbert will agree to purchase the existing courts and jail for 50 million dollars.

"We have a path out for that working with Dan Gilbert, working with the state. ... We're able to move to the Mound facility. That's 9,000 temporary jobs, 5,500, and you save a neighborhood. That seems like a no-brainer," Ficano says.

"Dan Gilbert, right now, is doing his due diligence. I think people should remember that Dan Gilbert's answer, after his due diligence, could be, 'No,'" McNamara says.

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