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Gainesville to Buy Jail from Hall County

Hall County Government and the City of Gainesville have reached an agreement concerning the future of the old jail at 622 Main St. in Midtown Gainesville. The County has agreed to sell the jail to the City for $7.2 million. The current occupant of the jail, Corrections Corporation of America, will continue to lease the facility from the City and operate the North Georgia Detention Center to house immigration detainees. Also under the agreement, the Hall County Sheriff's Office administration will remain at 622 Main St. until 2017.
 
“I am delighted that Hall County and the City of Gainesville have come together on an agreement that is mutually beneficial. This is a great example of the kind of healthy, inter-governmental working relationship that is in the best interest of all our citizens,” Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver said.
 
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said the purchase is an investment in the future of Midtown. “When you’re in business for 200 years, you have to plan ahead. Although the property will remain in its current use, the purchase guarantees it will be ours to use in a way that is more compatible with growth in the Midtown area,” said Dunagan.
 
On June 19, the Gainesville City Council authorized the purchase of the jail. The City will issue bonds to pay for the jail and use lease payments from CCA to pay back the debt service over a 10-15 year period. The Hall County Board of Commissioners is scheduled approve the agreement at its next meeting on June 28.The County will put $5.2 million of the $7.2 million lump sum payment in reserve, and $2 million will be used in the fiscal year 2013 general fund budget to replace the lease payment CCA would have paid to the county for 2013.