HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Some Ironton residents who live near the old Lombard building have strong reservations about setting up a new jail there.

Mary Williams told the Ironton City Council meeting on Thursday evening why she hopes the new jail will find itself in a different part of town.

“It’s right in the middle of our neighborhood,” she told council members.

Williams fears the new facility along Lorain Street will bring unwanted traffic, and there are concerns about breakouts.

“Normally prisoners here don’t escape from prison, but when you have a 200-bed facility, there’s a potential that a prisoner could get away with it,” she said.

The county received nearly $17 million in state grants in November, and a sales tax levy to help fund prison operations will be on the next ballot.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the current nearly 50-year-old jail does not meet modern standards.

“I think the citizens of this county know how vital this jail is and how much trouble we’ve had and how we can’t pass up this opportunity,” Lawless told WSAZ in November.

The public will have another chance to have their say on the matter at 6 p.m. Monday at a joint meeting with Ironton City Council and the Lawrence County Commission, to be held in Ironton City Council Chambers.

Residents concerned about the proposed location of the new prison

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