Austin County Commissioners continue to explore options pertaining to the County Jail.
The Sheriff’s office was closed down in the fall of last year due to mold infestation.
Among the possibilities: taking care of current issues and leaving the courthouse as is; Renovating, remodeling and expanding the current facility; create a three-story facility that would house the jail, courtroom and offices; or the newest option, a two-story building that would house the jail, courtroom and offices.
County Commissioner Mark Lamp says he has visited with the architect and requested a conceptual drawing of the two-story facility he says would save money.
County Sheriff Jack Brandes says the county must speak with the citizens and explain that a new facility would obviously cost more but would last 15-to-25 years, while the cheaper alternatives would have to be fixed again in a couple years.
Austin County Judge Tim Lapham says in order to have any bond issue on the November ballot, they must have “all the ducks in a row’ by mid-July.