Concerns voiced over early plans for juvenile detention facility in Caledonia
CALEDONIA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Imagine a juvenile detention facility minutes away from your home.
That's what some Caledonia residents are concerned about as the Racine County Board continues to try and find a place for their new, mainly state funded $40 million Youth Development and Care Center.
That facility is now being considered for an area at the northeast corner of the Batten International Airport, along 3 Mile Road, as it’s close to public transit and won't need infrastructure work, unlike the spot already approved in the city of Racine.
Now, they're facing pushback from Caledonia residents. Wednesday night, Aug. 4, they held a meeting for public input from village residents.
"My property values have been repressed and depressed, and now you want to put a prison five minutes from my house," said Patricia Hurley, who says she has lived in Caledonia for 18 years.
That was the general sentiment from around a hundred residents who came out to the meeting at Caledonia Village Hall.
Another common concern voiced -- that down the line this smaller facility, designed to house up to 48 lower concern youths, could house more dangerous individuals.
"Now are you willing to sleep at night knowing you're possibly making the area that we live in dangerous," questioned Andrew, another Caledonia resident.
Seemingly at odds with residents was Village President Jim Dobbs.
"Conceptually, I believe that this is a good project, it's something the community needs," said Dobbs.
He said there haven't been issues with escaped youths at the current facility, and he didn't think it would hurt property value either.
"I do not envision this $40 million building, which no one will really see, affecting property values in Caledonia," said Dobbs.
The facility is planned to be mainly hidden by a tree line at the planned site.
Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said it's a service the county has to provide, and if they can't find a place to put it, they could end up paying more, sending their kids elsewhere and further away from their families.
"At the end of the day it's going to have a ripple effect long, long beyond us in terms of those youth becoming sustainable or unsustainable adults," said Delagrave.
Delagrave said no final decision has been made on this at the county or village level at this time.