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County to buy Phoenix Color building for jail

September 12, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County has agreed to buy a former Phoenix Color building as a way to expand its jail.

The county commissioners on Tuesday approved spending $5 million to buy an 83,500-square-foot building on Tandy Drive near the Washington County Detention Center.

Earlier this year, Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said the detention center - with 330 beds for male inmates and 71 for female inmates - was over capacity.

Mullendore said in March that the plan would be to connect the Tandy Drive building to the existing detention center, a cheaper alternative than buying land and constructing a new center.

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Phoenix Color had moved most of its operations to another site by then.

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records online show that the Tandy Drive building was built in 1992.

Records show that Phoenix Color Corp. bought the property from Donald M. Bowman Jr. in 1991 for $208,390.

Bowman bought it from the Washington County Commissioners in 1988 for $83,356.

On Tuesday, no one spoke during a public hearing about the latest transaction, which includes the building and 8.3 acres.

Before the commissioners unanimously approved the purchase, Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said the county obviously needs to do something about its crowded jail.

However, he added, "it's a sad reality the amount of money the public spends on housing the criminal population."

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