“Make another run at this”

Oconee County once again is looking inside Walhalla to build its new jail. This time, agreeing with Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, the County Council will pursue other county-owned property on the opposite side of the Law Enforcement Center. Of three options, Crenshaw recommended the cemetery side of the LEC. He quoted the consultants as saying it would be feasible to build a 25-foot high 192-bed pod, along with an annex for kitchen and laundry services, at a cost of $15.7 million. The new Sheriff said he has in mind using the old jail to hold juvenile offenders and to store evidence, among other possibilities. Crenshaw also proposed naming the new jail for Bob Bush, a retired LEC director. The council reacted favorably, with District Two’s Wayne McCall saying, “I think we have a good shot at this.” District Five’s Reg Dexter questioned whether the alternate location would satisfy Walhalla city zoning requirements, but County Administrator Scott Moulder said with a new mayor and council in place, the city has a new outlook about this. According to Moulder, by backing the new jail on one side of the existing LEC and a cemetery on another, the project would impact fewer neighborhood homes.