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Group protests multicounty jail

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Toms Brook resident Mark Prince leads a dozen demonstrators outside the fire and rescue forum Wednesday night at the Toms Brook Fire Hall. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Kaitlin Mayhew -- kmayhew@nvdaily.com

TOMS BROOK -- A group of Shenandoah County residents gathered outside the Toms Brook Fire Hall about an hour prior to Thursday's community meeting in a protest against the new regional jail.

Brandishing protest signs along with their umbrellas, they were hoping to catch Morris to discuss their displeasure with the plans for the construction of the RSW Regional Jail.

The jail will serve Warren, Rappahannock and Shenandoah counties and will be located off U.S. 340 north of Front Royal.

"We don't want that jail," said Marsha Shruntz of Strasburg. "Our taxes are going to go up in this county because of this jail. We as constituents are going to be watching the supervisors budget for 2012 and 2013 very closely."

Mark Prince said he has concerns about the construction costs, believing that it could be done much less expensively.

Many of the protesters also expressed frustration that Morris had entered through the side door instead of coming in the front to meet them.

Morris said later that he did that because he was carrying refreshments in preparation for the meeting. He also expressed that he thought the issue of the regional jail was "old news."

"I voted against the jail, I was the only supervisor to do so," he said.

He also said that there has been a lot of interest from other localities that have over-populated jails, to rent beds in the new facility.

"That would help to offset debt service," he said. "It would help lower the payback from each county."

However, a few of the protesters said they did not approve of the idea of bringing more dangerous criminals to the area.


Just a heads up, someone might want to do a quick edit on this as the first name for "Morris" is not given anywhere in the article.

Let me get this straight..........Protesters showed up to "Tell Morris No Jail", but Morris has already voted against the jail. So a bunch of people showed up at a meeting that had nothing to do with the jail, to tell a man who has already voted no on the jail, that they don't want a jail. Hmmm, and this meeting was about fire and rescue issues.

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