After some eight years of planning and building up Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) proceeds, the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Department and the County Commission have begun work on the new Sheriff’s Department administrative building on Hwy. 341 just north of the Hazlehurst city limits.
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held last Thursday where ground clearing had already begun on the site.
Sheriff Preston Bohannon emphasized this week that the construction of the first phase of the project would create no extra financial burden on taxpayers as the project is being financed completely through SPLOST proceeds and a donation from a private individual.
The first phase of the project is to house the Sheriff’s Department offices, E-911 and offices for all administrative support for the jail — medical, food, booking, intake, etc. The second phase, which is still in the planning stage, will be to construct the prisoner housing portion of the project.
Bohannon said the complete project is projected to cost $10 million. The first phase is expected to cost $4.5-$5 million.
Bohannon said the county commission “will not have to raise taxes one cent.”
Sheriff Bohannon, Chief Deputy Keith Rea and architects from Studio 8 in Valdosta have worked eight years designing the facility. The low bidder for the construction was McDonald Construction of Vidalia.