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Signal Cleveland calls it a 'turf war"


From Signal Cleveland, Oct 9:

Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne has the go-ahead from council to buy land in Garfield Heights for a new jail. The argument over the plan is far from over, however.

A draft environmental report on an alternative site on Kirby Avenue and East 131st Street in Cleveland found toxins such as arsenic in the ground. Manufacturers used the property for decades to make screw machines and auto parts. The county would need to remove and treat soil before a jail could go there, the report said.

That would seem to bolster Ronayne’s case for the Garfield Heights spot.

But Sunny Simon, the District 11 council member who voted against buying the Garfield Heights land, told Signal Cleveland she thinks the Kirby site is a better location.

She wants to schedule a hearing on the environmental report. After all, she said, the county paid for the study, so the public ought to hear what’s in it.

There’s also the money issue. Council hasn’t yet decided whether to ask voters to extend a quarter-percent sales tax to pay for jail construction costs.

“This is no done deal,” Simon said. “No, it’s not too late. It’s just the beginning of the conversation.”

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