HASTINGS, NE – After years of discussion and months of planning, the land has finally moved to the site of the new Adams County Jail.

“I didn’t think this day would come,” Commissioner Dale Curtis said.

Curtis has been sitting in meetings on the proposal since 2018. Residents passed a $38 million bond issue by about 3.5% of the vote in November 2020. The original proposal was for a justice center complete with classrooms. hearing and lawyers’ offices. Pandemic-related supply chain issues forced the county to downsize.

“We could have had a justice center here, but when it got out of our hands and the prices got too high, we had to build the jail,” Curtis said.

The new prison on the southern outskirts of the city will have 158 beds, more than 100 more than the current facility.

Sheriff John Rust says it will ease the transportation burden on his staff and the county budget.

“Instead of taking inmates and housing them in other facilities and having the cost and security risks of transporting those inmates, we will be able to have them here,” Rust said.

30 to 35 Adams County inmates are currently housed in other jails. With the new jail, the county expects to generate revenue by housing inmates from other counties.

Rust says that’s just the beginning of the benefits.

“It will be much better for the staff, the inmates, the public, everyone with new facilities that allow for better programs…the security aspect,” Rust said. “So it will be a win-win.”

The prison is expected to open next year in early fall.