Colbert County officials exploring all options including combining resources for a metro jail

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. - Colbert County officials are in the midst of a major project right now. Faced with having to build a new jail, commissioners are exploring all options before a final decision is made. Even putting an old option back on the table.

For over 20 years, replacing the Colbert County Jail has been on the agenda for each sitting sheriff. Over the past several months, the county commission has started taking the need for a new jail seriously.

“I think everyone sees the need and is on board wanting to do something,” said Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson.

What to build and where to build it is the biggest question at this stage.

As for locations, there are five spots which have been identified. What they build will be determined by the latest option to be voiced by Sheriff Williamson, a metro jail.

“It just makes sense to me," said Sheriff Williamson. "It seems like it would save the county money; save the city’s money.”

It’s still preliminary, but the sheriff and county commissioners want to know if Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Muscle Shoals want to buy in. The move could allow the cities to shut down their municipal jails.

“Everybody is paying their part, and nobody is getting loaded down with it,” he explained.

Sheriff Williamson says even if everyone decided to partake immediately, it could still be three to four years before a new jail would be ready for move in.

Until a decision is made, he says he’ll do his best to make what they have last.

Officials in the cities of Tuscumbia and Sheffield are showing interest in the metro jail concept. Colbert County officials say they haven’t gotten word from the city of Muscle Shoals yet.