If you've been on area social media chat groups, you have probably seen some of the discussion about the proposed new Iron County Jail. Much of that discussion has been over a possible location for the new facility. And the discussion has been very spirited, to say the least.

Committees have been formed that have studied proposed locations and contemplated the optimum placement of the facility to benefit the community and the needs of law enforcement.

Not discussed as much is the need for a new facility. I generally have a skeptical eye when government officials come to the public seeking funding for new facilities. But in this case, they have made some valid arguments. Some years ago, I had the privilege to serve in a church ministry to those who were incarcerated. I quite enjoyed the experience there. However, at the time I could see that the jail facility was showing signs of age. And, again, this was several years ago.

Plus, we are only too aware of the tremendous amount of growth we are having right now in Cedar City and Iron County. Sadly, with that growth, comes the possibility of more criminal activity, and county planners are, in my opinion, wise to look to the future.

But, as always, the need for public input is paramount when any such public project is proposed or undertaken.

So, to that end, tomorrow, Thursday evening, Iron County is going to be conducting a town hall to get feedback from local residents on their opinions on the location and the necessity of a new correctional facility.

That meeting will be held at the Great Hall in the Hunter Conference Center on the campus of Southern Utah University. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm and is expected to last an hour. For area residents concerned about traveling in what could be another winter condition night the town hall will be streamed live on the Iron County Commission Live You Tube channel.

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