Allen County Commissioners select new jail site

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Allen County Commissioners have selected a site on the former International Harvester campus for the new Allen County Jail.

RELATED: New Allen County Jail designs available to view

Commissioners approved a motion for a purchase agreement of the site at 2911 Meyer Road in East Fort Wayne. The total acreage for the site is around 140 acres, with about 250,000-square feet in the buildings on the site. The jail would be built on farmland next to the buildings there. There is a neighborhood on Medford Drive, which is land next to the proposed site.

RELATED: Local leaders voice their concerns over new jail proposal

A proposed site at Adams Center Road was not selected after proximity to schools, wetland and drainage issues and utility location problems.

The Meyer Road location earned the top ranking among the four finalists. Other sites strongly considered included a site off Hillegas Road and land off of Ferguson Road.

RELATED: Federal judge orders changes for Allen County Jail

Allen County officials were ordered by a federal judge to address overcrowding and understaffing at the current jail downtown in April of this year. That stems from a class-action lawsuit filed by inmate Vincent Morris in January of 2020.

 

The Allen County Commissioners later released the following press release,

Potential Location Announced for New Allen Jail

Allen County, Indiana – The Allen County Board of Commissioners has selected a potential property for the location of a new county jail and will review and potentially approve a purchase agreement to be submitted to the property owner as soon as next Friday. The decision on a property for a new county jail was shared at this morning’s Commissioners’ Legislative Session.

The property is located at 2911 Meyer Road within the former International Harvester campus in central Allen County. The property was the highest ranked and best scoring against an objective, rigorous matrix used by the Commissioners and their architecture partner Elevatus to analyze potential locations throughout Allen County.

“We believe this site is the best solution for the community as a whole and resolves the community concerns we encountered during this process,” explained Allen County Commissioner, Nelson Peters, “This site selection is the result of an incredibly intensive, thorough process that had to take place in a very tight timeline.”

In addition to allowing for the development of a new jail, this location opens up the possibility of creating a county campus that brings a number of departments and services to one location, a significant step in the Commissioners consolidating the county’s building footprint while increasing its operational efficiency.

After coming to terms with the property owner on a purchase agreement, the Commissioners will need the approval of Allen County Council to purchase the property and of the Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals.

Detailed scoring of the potential sites mentioned in today’s architect presentation can be found in the “Future of Allen County Jail” section on the county’s website at https://www.allencounty.us/update.

 

New Haven Mayor Steven McMichael released the following comments,

New Haven, Indiana (November 23, 2022) – This Wednesday, the Allen County Commissioners passed a motion to purchase land on Meyer Road previously owned by International Harvester’s plan to erect the new County Jail. This site sits directly on the edge of the city’s limits between New Haven and Fort Wayne.

“We understand the need to secure a new location for the Allen County Jail,” stated Mayor Steve McMichael. “Our top priority is to maintain the interests of our residents while continuing to work with the Allen County Commissioners and the Allen County Sherriff’s Office to ensure the needs of our city. Although the announced location is not in New Haven, we will work to ensure the location does not negatively impact our community.”

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