Heart Of Tyler Issues Statement On Proposed Jail - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/2/2007-Smith Co.

Heart Of Tyler Issues Statement On Proposed Jail

The Heart of Tyler issued a statement in favor of the proposed Smith County Jail.

The Heart of Tyler Board of Directors supports a downtown location for Smith County government operations.  For reasons of efficiency of county government and economics, we feel downtown is the best choice for the jail.

            Downtown is where government operations have been and should be centered. Keeping county government operations together in a central location makes sense. In terms of the downtown economy, keeping county government together keeps private enterprise such as attorneys, accountants and the businesses that serve them downtown as well. A strong downtown economy is good for the city and county; a downtown that is stricken by disinvestment will only result in less tax base and more burden on the taxpayer.

            However, we also have reservations about the current bond proposal. They are as follows:

  1. The currently proposed design of the jail is out of context and out of scale with downtown architecture. Our hope is that the architects will work to provide a design that is functional and sensitive to its setting.
  2. The currently proposed location at Broadway and Elm is a concern for much of our constituency. It will define the gateway into downtown and could deter surrounding private development. The building should relate to the surrounding buildings and reinforce planning in place for downtown.

Those who say we support a downtown jail because it's a cornerstone of a downtown revitalization plan are wrong. What we endorse is keeping county government and businesses associated with it downtown. When government facilities leave downtown, jobs and businesses leave with them, and rarely does one government function leave downtown without other governmental offices following. That is why keeping county facilities downtown is important.

We welcome the opportunity to see these concerns addressed in a way that benefits the entire community and county. We are sure there are resolutions to these issues and we pledge our support in finding them.

/S/ Mike Butler

President of the Board of Directors

Heart of Tyler Main Street Program


Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com


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