Evans talks jail redevelopment at Mackinac

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 19:44:00-04

One of the hot topics up at the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference is what to do with the failed Wayne County Jail.

Yesterday we spoke with CEO of Rock Ventures Matt Cullen, who wants to place a MLS soccer stadium on the site.

During an interview with Editorial Director Chuck Stokes today, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said he's not opposed to the idea.

However, Evans says he doesn't want his taxpayers to foot the bill, because they've already lost enough money in the failed jail complex. Evans also says they're are things people forget about, when they talk about the plan to replace the jail construction site with a stadium.

"What many people don't understand about the whole scenario is the footprint of the entertainment/soccer stadium doesn't just include the jail," Evans says. "It includes the juvenile detention facility, it includes the courts and these are all institutions that we're gonna have to replace and so the cost is going to be greater than just finishing the jail. I don't want Wayne County taxpayers to pay a dollar of that money."

Evans also spoke about how he is working to balance the books in Wayne County. Officials have worked out a deal to sell one of the county owned wastewater treatment plants to 13 Downriver communities. 

Evans says owning the plant is not part of the county's business plan, and the money from the sale will be paid into one of the county's unfunded pension plans.