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Beaufort County Jail to reopen on September 10th

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WASHINGTON, N.C. -

While work continues on the Beaufort County Jail, taxpayers will continue to pick up the tab for the delayed reopening of the jail. Right now it looks like the county will have to cough up around $500,000.

Meanwhile, talks about building a new jail also continue. On Monday, commissioners moved a step closer at making it a reality. They asked county staff to explore an option that places the jail at the county's industrial park in Chocowinity.

Sheriff Alan Jordan says for two decades the he's pushed for a new facility estimated to cost $20 million. "It does cost a lot but I submit that it cost even more now than it would have years ago." Jordan said.

One board member in particular is completely against the idea. "I don't think and a lot of other people don't think we need a new jail. We need to manage the jail that we have." Commissioner Hood Richardson said.

Richardson wants to work through the problems at the current jail before they explore constructing another. On Monday, Richardson also took steps to reign in the Sheriff. He says Sheriff Jordan has failed to deliver record request to his office and proposed that the sheriff hold office hours at the jail to show people what's truly going on.

"The jail has been represented by the people who want to build a new jail as some kind of dungeon that is full of mold and mildew." Richardson said.

The Sheriff submits the conditions are poor and denies the allegations against him and says Richardson is just one commissioner.

"I encourage the commissioners; I encourage the public to keep moving forward towards that new facility." Jordan said.

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