GENEVA COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — If you travel by the Geneva County Courthouse, you may see and hear the sound of the new Geneva County jail being built right outside on Commerce Street.
Despite weather halting work, the construction crew continues to make progress.
“We are pleased with the progress and with our construction partners of the jail,” said Toby Seay, Geneva County probate judge and commission chairman. “We are currently about six weeks behind schedule. However, that’s been due to weather, and I believe we are making progress on that with some sunny days.”
Tuesday afternoon, the new jail received a shipment of pods. There are already two modules up that can hold up to 16 inmates. The new jail is expected to hold around 155 inmates at max capacity, but room for 175 can be added if needed.
“Right now, we’re running at a very high capacity; it’s providing a lot of stress on the correctional officers,” Geneva County District One Commissioner Weston Spivey said. “So, we’re glad to have this additional space for our law enforcement and for our sheriff that are doing a great job serving our county.”
The money for the new jail was funded by the county citizens’ decision to increase the sales tax by 1 percent. Sheriff Tony Helms told WDHN at the September groundbreaking that this will help with the number of inmates they see.
“It’s going to relieve a lot of stress; it’s going to relieve a lot of overcrowding problems,” Sheriff Helms said. “Anytime we have a heavy weekend of traffic or a lot of activity over the weekend, we have a tendency to fill up, so it’s going to alleviate a lot of those problems.”
The current jail was built in 1963 to hold about 49 inmates. Both Spivey and Seay said that they hope to have the jail opened by mid-February.