Opposition dwindles and permit approved

A new Sheriff, a new location, and a mix of new zoning officials translated last night to the approval Oconee County needs to build its replacement jail on the cemetery side of the county Law Enforcement Center. Unlike two years ago, no one from the public spoke in opposition and the vote granting a special exception to Walhalla’s zoning law carried 5-1, with one board member abstaining. Nancy Morgan, disappointed that Sheriff Mike Crenshaw’s plan lacked specifics as to how the new jail would look, cast the one dissenting vote. John Michael Cox, an Oconee County employee, abstained. Two audience members—attorney Suzanne Earle and neighbor Ryan Saulnier, spoke in favor of the new plan for a 192-inmate jail. The special exception apparently requires the county to start construction within six months. After last night’s approval, Sheriff Crenshaw expressed confidence the timetable can be met.