David Dickinson

City Councilman David Dickinson speaks to residents who oppose a proposed East Church Street site for a new Walton County Public Safety Complex at a meeting Thursday night, July 15, 2021, in Monroe, Ga.

MONROE, Ga. — David Dickinson will ask his fellow City Council members to register formal objection to the site being discussed for a new county jail.

Commissioners voted earlier this month to pursue a deal for land off East Church Street that backs up to the county Government Building on South Hammond Drive.

Several neighbors of the property, which is now vacant and owned by a Loganville-based limited liability corporation, have said they oppose the deal and the fact it was kept quiet until the Walton County Board of Commissioners voted July 6.

The Monroe City Council will have a special called meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and Dickinson said in a Facebook post that he’ll offer a resolution opposing the jail site.

The vote is largely symbolic, as it’s up to the county government to build what Chairman David Thompson envisions as the Walton County Public Safety Complex — the jail, the Sheriff’s Office headquarters and the home of the county ambulance service.

Still, Dickinson called it “one of the most important votes ever taken by the Monroe City Council.”

Dickinson represents one of the two “superdistricts” in Monroe, meaning he counts about half the citizens as his constituents — including those closest to the site of the proposed jail, as he lives just down East Church Street.

Vice Mayor Larry Bradley, whose 4th District covers the jail site, also has voiced opposition.

Dickinson said a new jail should be built in an industrial area, and he plans to offer three alternative sites.

Sheriff Joe Chapman, however, has said the East Church Street site is the best option given its proximity to the Government Building, where Superior Court is held. He said having the ability to move inmates by foot rather than having to drive them would be a tremendous liability savings for the county.

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