Crenshaw makes pitch for new jail

Walhalla City Council was on the receiving end of Sheriff Mike Crenshaw’s pitch to build the new county jail between the existing LEC and West View Cemetery. And a handful of audience members were there with concerns and questions. In his presentation, Crenshaw stressed his intent to is to be a good steward of up to $15.7 million in project money and deliver a 192-inmate jail that will be conducive to the adjoining department offices and nearby courthouse, as well as a facility that’ll be less bothersome to nearby neighbors. As for the issue of contraband, a problem with the 36-year old jail, Crenshaw announced a plan to go to video-visitation only. As for the next step, neither Crenshaw nor Walhalla leaders seemed sure whether the latest jail plans will require an application for a variance from the city board of zoning appeals. Crenshaw said that’s a matter he has deferred to Tom Martin, the county attorney. Nearby resident Paul Raines repeated his opposition to building the jail in the County Seat. In his statement, Raines said, “Do not allow the county to bully or financially black mail you over this issue. Protect those who placed you in the chair you occupy tonight.”