CEDAR CITY — Cedar City officials will be meeting Tuesday night to discuss a costly new jail for Iron County, and it's expected to bring a lively crowd.
Iron County's current facility is the oldest functioning jail in Utah, and Commissioner Mike Blake says that while building an expensive new jail may not be popular, it needs to be done.
Since the current jail opened in the late 1980s, the population of Iron county has nearly tripled.
That means the jail is too small, with offenders turned away because of space concerns, says Blake.
“The jail as it currently sits was built and engineered to house four female inmates. Sometimes we have 40 female inmates.
We have basically turned the gymnasium, classrooms, janitors closets, anywhere that can fit a bunk or a mattress we’ve had to turn into inmate housing…it’s not ideal," explained Blake.
Finding a location everyone agrees upon will be difficult and will carry a hefty price tag, estimated to be between $30 and $70 million.
Four sites are under consideration.
Blake said the public information town meeting will be held Tuesday night the the Hunter Conference Center at Southern Utah University from 6-8 p.m.