County close to agreement on jail

Robert Blackford/Editor
The Mercer County Board met Tuesday May 5 at the Mercer County courthouse and discussed the new jail addition.

Mercer County States Attorney Greg McHugh said he planned on having the final draft agreement concerning the lease and jail addition at a special board meeting the board will hold May 24.

McHugh addressed the county board at its May 5 meeting in the Mercer County Courthouse.

McHugh insisted there would be no security lein on the jail property. He added that if worse came to worse and the county decided not to renew the lease on the addition and it reverted back “they will have to lease from us.”

Board member Floyd Utz noted that even if they didn’t go through with the addition at this point the commission is out $500,000 in legal fees. Those fees will be rolled up into payments the county will make.

County Board member Bob Vickrey asked McHugh if the jail would be considered two separate units.

McHugh said, “It will be a separate addition attached to our jail.”

Vickrey asked “Does the county know what the number of potential new employees this is going to cost the county."

Board Chairman Maxine Henry said, “We don’t know that yet.”

Sheriff Tom Thompson said the salaries for the first year are rolled into the cost of the jail.

Motion of praise

The board passed a motion of praise to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department for its part in the capture of Charles McRae. Mercer County State’s Attorney Greg McHugh recommended the motion.

McHugh said the department put in 30 hours of work to catch McRae who was wanted in connection with a series of incidents in the Quad Cities ranging from sexual assault to home invasion.

McHugh said the department knew McRae had family ties in the Mercer County area and kept patrolling with an eye out for him.

Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson said his department along with the City of Aledo’s police department, Viola Police Department and sheriff’s offices in Henry and Rock Island counties took part in the chase which led to McRae’s arrest.