Juvenile Justice Center Topic Again At Mayor's Town Hall Meeting

The topic of a proposed juvenile justice center came up at another one of Mayor Jean Stothert's town hall meetings. 

Concerned citizens were very vocal about the plans at Stothert's town hall Monday night with a few weighing in on the battle over a new youth detention center in Douglas County.

The Douglas County board is moving forward with a plan to acquire and demolish a building near 18th and Howard to make room for the new juvenile justice center and that's something Tyler Wilson doesn't want. "We have the old civic center site, that old lot, why was it not built there?"

The blueprint calls for development of a $120 million center. It would hold courts, detention services and attorneys all under one roof. Wilson believes tearing down the current building and putting anew one in its place will raise property taxes substantially. "This would raise taxes. For every $150,000 in valuation it will raise taxes by 50 percent, for every $300,000 100 percent and so on," Wilson claimed.

Stothert admitted it would raise the taxes, but not those margains. "The City of Omaha tax levy is a sliver of what you pay in your tax bill. When you pay your property tax, 61.5 percent goes to schools. City of Omaha is only 21.3 percent."

Stothert did say a couple members of the county board have reached out and that they'll discuss plans soon. According to the mayor, approval for bonds to build the new center have to ultimately be signed off by her.

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