Sheriff applauds voters for passing proposal to construct new jail

ESCANABA — After failing by less than two dozen votes in May, a second measure to build a new jail facility in Delta County passed Tuesday night by 800 votes.

After voters rejected a $20 million measure to build a new service center six months ago, Delta County Sheriff Ed Oswald and others decided to reduce the size of the original project in hopes of passing it on Election Day.

Now that the bond proposal has passed, officials can begin the process of planning to construct the new facility, which will help with overcrowding issues that the current jail staff faces on a daily basis.

“A jail is a hard sell,” said Oswald. “We had to explain why we needed it and what good would come out of it for the community. We’re talking about releasing 49 felons. I’m not talking about misdemeanors. We’re talking about felons, who 25 years ago went to prison. We released 49 of them early because of overcrowding. This is the missing link in our criminal justice system and we really want to fix this,” Oswald added.

Oswald hopes to have the new jail up and running in 2019.