Decision Finally Made for Jonesboro Justice Complex

MARCH 21, 2006 -- Posted at 9:45 P.M. CST, updated at 7:20 a.m. on 3/22

JONESBORO, AR -- Progress was made Tuesday night on the city's problems facing the Justice Complex. There were two options heading into a city council meeting; completely close the building, relocate, and count it as a loss or pay the money to repair the damages.

An early meeting of the council's public safety committee was called to work out any questions before the entire council met, however, everyone realized they didn't have much of a decision to make after all. The logic was easy. After cruncing numbers again, aldermen came to conclusion that it would cost more to relocate. Rent and the cost of moving was much more than the cost of fixing the problems they already faced.

"Look at this and make sure this is the best thing for the city. If that's the case, let's move on," says one city council member.

So, the committee meeting adjourned and they headed to the city council meeting. It was an expected vote, turning out unanimous once again. The big question of the night, however, was that council members wanted to know the reason for the price increase from the original quote. It was a hefty price jump, going from approximately $30,000 to $130,000.

"That first price was given based on what we knew and what we could price. Since then, more discoveries were made," says Jimmy Dan Maddox, Architect Hired for Project.

The biggest reason for the jump he said was that subcontractors weren't added to the original total. The decision came with many questions, but when it came time for a vote, it seemed council members really had no other choice.

"It's going to cost so much money to try to relocate the police department to another facility. I don't think it's wise to stay in the trailers. They're obviously not as safe as what the building is," says Mayor Doug Formon.

But as for the decision made now, council members seemed to do the obvious. Spend the least amount of money, fix the problem now, and make future plans for a new building.

"It is indicating that they are on a right track, that they are doing their work responsibly. And I think it's going to continue on," says Maddox, Project Architect.

Council members noted that this is most likely a temporary fix. Contractors said it would probably hold them over for a few years, but eventually a new facility will have to be built.