No Date Set For Closing Of Old Dodge County Jail

10/18/17 – The Dodge County Board voted down a resolution last night to close the old jail house by 2020. The facility on North Main Street in Juneau has been plagued with issues in recent years including code problems, outdated video equipment, and rundown mechanical systems. Concerns were raised by the Building Committee – who brought forth the resolution – about the cost of maintenance, which has totaled $560-thousand dollars over the past three years. Last month, the sheriff’s office proposed a plan to add two new housing pods to the existing jail and turn the old jail into a training, parking, and storage facility. Sheriff Dale Schmidt is in favor of closing the building but believes there needs to be a plan in place before setting a date. He says the board made a good decision and that a more detailed strategy which would outweigh positives and negatives should be provided before the board decides on which direction they want to go. Schmidt says that maintenance costs are at the core of the issue. He says a part of those maintenance costs were from personnel and would not go away with closing the old jail. He says whether the board makes a decision today or next spring would not affect costs because the 2018 sheriff’s budget is complete. He did note that it could make an impact when planning for the 2019 budget. Some supervisors felt it was far too early to vote on a date to close the jail.  Supervisor David Guckenberger unsuccessfully made a motion to postpone the topic until next spring at the earliest. That motion failed on a 15-15 tie. The board then voted on the original resolution to close the old jail by 2020 and it fell two votes short. Schmidt says his office will continue to explore the issue and he will present a more detailed plan to the county board by late spring.