Fulton OKs spending $517K to renovate, reopen North Fulton jail annex

Inmates are seen during a tour of the Fulton County Jail on Monday, December 9, 2019, in Atlanta. (Elijah Nouvelage/Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Inmates are seen during a tour of the Fulton County Jail on Monday, December 9, 2019, in Atlanta. (Elijah Nouvelage/Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners decided Wednesday to spend half a million dollars to renovate and reopen a North Fulton jail.

The facility, located at 2565 Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, is an annex that holds people arrested on the Northside ahead of a possible transfer to the county’s main jail in Blandtown. But it has been closed since March 2020 due to staffing and COVID-19 concerns.

No Northside annex has meant sometimes a 30-mile drive for some officers, leaving them in traffic instead of patrolling city streets.

ExploreFulton commissioners approve $1.2M to study cost, location of new jail

The five mayors of North Fulton were so unhappy with the annex being closed they floated trying to re-open the facility themselves under a new jail authority.

Labat ended that talk in February when he said a renovation would have the annex open by summer.

Three months later, Sheriff Patrick Labat says the $517,000 means he can reopen the annex in June.

Another reason for bringing the 70-bed Alpharetta facility back is the main Rice Street jail is over-crowded to the point of having more than 360 people sleeping on the floor in makeshift beds, Labat told commissioners.

Documents attached to the agenda show the money will go toward a variety of needed maintenance, like at least $105,000 to strip and reseal concrete floors at $15 to $20 per square foot, $21,000 budgeted for a new roof and thousands in technology upgrades.

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