HART, Mich. (WOOD) — Voters in Oceana County will decide Aug. 2 whether to fund a millage to build a new county jail.
With 60 beds, the jail is always at capacity, Sheriff Craig Mast. He said it can’t meet the modern-day needs of incarceration because it doesn’t have enough space for programs like mental health treatment or schooling.
“We have a schoolteacher come in every week. If somebody’s here doing a year in jail and if we can have them get their GED while they’re here so that when they leave, they can be a better person, that’s better for everybody,” Mast said. “But currently, we have to hold that school session in a wide spot in a hallway.”
The jail, which is 58 years old, has also had problems with water leaking inside during poor weather, including over the weekend as storms rolled through.
If voters approve a 2.25 mil property tax increase, the county would build a new jail with between 120 and 144 beds.
You can find your sample ballot and confirm your polling location at the Michigan Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center online.