Local Government Commission Approves Financing For 220-Bed Wayne County Jail

RALEIGH – Wayne County will build an additional jail facility to connect with the Carey Winders Detention Center Annex built in 2016, and replace the Wayne County Detention Center built in 1994.

The Local Government Commission (LGC) approved $55 million in financing for the project on Feb. 7. It will be structured through an installment purchase contract that allows the county to make partial payments over time instead of paying all of the debt up front. The county decided that would be a more timely method to construct the facility than pursuing a general obligation bond that would have to pass a public referendum. Debt service on the bank loan would be paid through the General Fund and no tax increase is anticipated.

The new 62,090-square-foot building would hold 220 beds. County officials said the facility is needed because the seven-story Wayne County Detention Center is in need of electronic, surveillance and internet modernization that are financially impractical due to its older structural design. The existing facility housed 127 inmates when it opened, but has had a population as high as 258. There are plans to use the old building for office space. 

The LGC, chaired by State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and staffed by the Department of State Treasurer, has a statutory duty to approve most debt issued by units of local government and public authorities in the state. The commission examines whether the amount of money units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt. It also monitors the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units.