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Controversy continues in Beaufort County on jail

By Averi Harper
Published On: Aug 07 2014 06:15:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 07 2014 06:44:35 PM CDT
WASHINGTON, BEAUFORT COUNTY -

 Some lawmakers are calling for a public referendum to decide whether Beaufort County should move forward with plans for a new public safety center in Chocowinity.

"I think it should be put to a vote. the North Carolina constitution requires that you cannot indebt a public body or the public without having a vote," said Hood Richardson.

But other county commissioners like jail committee chairman Jerry Langley say fat chance.

"They're citizens of Beaufort County they're entitled to their opinions but that's not going to change our course," said Langley.

A majority of county law maker want to move the jail from its current location in Washington underneath the County courthouse to a new location in Chocowinity's Industrial Park because of declining conditions and rising costs to maintain the jail.
Others think the plan is too expensive.

Langley says they were elected to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions and that the new public safety center is one of them.

"The public safety center is something that's needed and we're just going to go on the course that we're going and do all that we can to make sure it's accomplished," he said.