Osage County Sheriff’s Office hosting public meetings to discuss plans for $19 million headquarters and jail

Local News

LYNDON (KSNT) – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is hosting public meetings to discuss plans for a new $19 million facility. The facility would serve as both headquarters for the sheriff’s office and county jail.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is currently located at 131 14th Street in Lyndon. The new facility would be built in front of the current one.

Sheriff Chris Wells said the county bought the formerly abandoned nursing home in 2005 with the intent of building a new facility on the land. Now 16 years later, he said the building is falling apart.

“For the safety of the people that work here, I don’t believe that we can put it off much longer,” Wells said. “When it rains outside, it rains inside. We have leaks. You’ve seen the mold. Our foundation is less than desirable and the rotting underneath the floors.”

Along with black mold being a safety concern, Wells said they are also concerned about severe weather. Key departments like dispatch, records, and evidence are not built into storm shelters.

Wells said the plan uses the 144-bed jail as revenue to pay for the facility. Counties in Kansas pay other counties money to house inmates that they don’t have room for at their own facilities. Wells said after paying for the jail building, staff, and bills, the facility is expected to generate at least $300,000 a year in profit.

The headquarters and jail proposal will go before Osage County voters in November. Wells said they are having public meetings to educate the public about the proposal. There will be three meetings in July:

  • July 7 – Overbrook Public Library at 317 Maple Street at 6:00 p.m.
  • July 15 – Location TBD in Carbondale at 6:00 p.m.
  • July 21 – Melvern Community Center at 317 Maple Street at 6:00 p.m.

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