HASTINGS, NE — After years of discussion and months of planning, dirt is finally being moved at the site of the new Adams County Jail.

“I didn’t think the day would ever come,” Commissioner Dale Curtis said.

Curtis has been sitting in meetings about the proposal since 2018. Residents passed a $38 million bond issue by about 3.5% of the vote in November, 2020. The original proposal was for a full justice center complete with courtrooms and attorney offices. Pandemic supply chain issues forced the county to downsize.

“We could have had a Justice Center out here but when it got out of our hands and the prices went too high, we had to build the jail,” Curtis said.

The new jail on the south edge of town will have 158 beds, over 100 more than the current facility.

Sheriff John Rust says that will ease the transport burden on his staff and on the county budget.

“Instead of taking inmates and housing them in other facilities and having the costs and security risk for transportation of those inmates, we’ll be able to have them here,” Rust said.

30-35 Adams County inmates are currently housed in other jails. With the new jail, the county expects to generate income by housing inmates from other counties. 

Rust says that’s just the start of the benefits.

“It will be a lot better for the staff, inmates, the public, everyone due to having newer facilities that allow better programs… the safety aspect," Rust said. "So it will be a win-win.”

The jail is expected to open next year in early fall.