MUNCIE — Even while some groups and individuals object to the idea of moving Delaware County's courts-and-jail functions out of downtown, county officials have moved ahead with the purchase of a southside commercial building that's been identified as the new jail's site.
The county has closed on the purchase of the former ASONS property on South Tillotson Avenue, also the former Wilson Middle School, paying the owners of the property $2.9 million.
The county cut a check for that amount on May 10 and has since taken possession of the property and county highway crews have mowed the grass at the property at the order of the commissioners.
"The county owns the property as of right now," commissioners president James King told The Star Press on Wednesday.
The purchase of the former ASONS property would appear to seal the county's plans for the jail. County officials haven't cited the final purchase of the building in public meetings as local attorneys complain about the move of the courts-and-jail complex from downtown, but the purchase of the building for $2.9 million would appear to make a jail project inevitable, with or without court offices.
Many details are yet to be worked out, however.