Oklahoma County Commissioners Explore Options For Proposed Jail Site

Oklahoma County Commissioners are planning their next steps in building the new county jail. The board met in executive session with its legal counsel Wednesday morning following last week’s blow by the OKC City Council.

Wednesday, May 29th 2024, 4:31 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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Oklahoma County Commissioners are planning their next steps in building the new county jail.

The board met in executive session with its legal counsel Wednesday morning following last week’s blow by the OKC City Council.

“The city came out and said this is their number one selected site, their staff, it came from them, we have the emails,” said Myles Davidson, Oklahoma County Commissioner, District 3.

However, last week’s vote by the City Council didn’t reflect that, as they denied a special permit on 1901 East Grand Boulevard, the proposed site for the new Oklahoma County jail.

“We did what they asked, and we feel a bit betrayed about that,” Davidson said.

Commissioners met with their attorney to explore their options including whether the county is sovereign, which in theory could allow them to proceed with the site near Del City.

“Those are some of the questions we're asking the legal counsel about how we can do that,” Davidson said.

The site selection has been met with heavy opposition and threats of a lawsuit if the county proceeds.

“Anything we choose to do is possibly faced with litigation,” said Brian Maughan, Oklahoma County Commissioner, District 2. “I think we have to be prepared and anticipate that as best we can to protect the taxpayers of Oklahoma County.”

The board said their biggest concern right now is the risk of losing ARPA funds, federal money that would be used to build a behavioral health center adjacent to the new jail.

“I was the one ‘no vote’ against the Grand site,” said Carrie Blumert, Oklahoma County Commissioner, District 1. “I didn't like that site, I felt like I needed to stand with Del City but also understand that we're under a time crunch and we have to move forward with something and we're trying to figure out what that something is.”

County Commissioners will resume their discussions on Monday.

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