ANDERSON — The consultant hired to assist Madison County said a likely funding mechanism for a new jail is through a local income tax.

Madison County in April hired Jack Krouse with Construction Control Inc. to be the county’s representative throughout the project.

During the Madison County Council meeting Tuesday, Krouse explained that most counties are utilizing a .02% correctional income tax that was authorized by the Indiana General Assembly.

Krouse said based on the current income figures for county residents the tax will generate $1.6 million.

“That amount will increase over the life of the bonds,” he said. “If the tax is approved by Sept. 30, the county will start receiving revenues next year.”

Krouse said financing of a new jail will be through a 20-year bond, which could be paid off early.

He said the next step is to hire a firm to complete a required feasibility study.

The Madison County commissioners are expected to hire one of three firms next Monday to conduct the jail feasibility study, he said.

When asked by Councilman Mikeal Vaughn what his role was, Krouse said it is to advise county officials.

“My role is to make you intelligent buyers,” Krouse said. “I have no allegiance to architects or financial advisers.”

Councilman Fred Reese asked about the appointment of a committee to be involved in the construction of a new jail.

“There should be a committee formed before the design study,” Krouse said. “I’ve made recommendations on who should be on the committee.”

He recommended the sheriff, a judge, a local attorney, council members and local residents.

Council President Ben Gale said there have been discussions with the commissioners about the appointing of a committee.

Krouse said legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2018 requires counties to determine the construction, soft, bond reserve, operating and staffing costs.

Once that information is obtained, he said, there will be a 60- to 90-day period to review the feasibility study proposals and a public hearing.

“The county has to decide on the funding,” Krouse said. “All that has to be computed in the bond.”

Last month, Vaughn attempted to have Krouse’s contract terminated, which was defeated by a 4-2 vote.

Vaughn maintained that the commissioners didn’t have the available funds to pay the contract.

The contract pays CCI an hourly rate of $200 for the county to comply with legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2018 that requires counties to determine the construction, soft, bond reserve, operating and staffing costs.

CCI would be paid $16,500 per month as construction manager when construction of a new jail begins.

Gale said the consultant will be paid from the professional services account, which had $32,500 in the commissioners’ budget.

Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger has been requesting the feasibility study for more than a year.

He previously indicated the county needs a jail with 500 beds at an estimated cost of $50 million.
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