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Oldest jail in the nation has 6 months to figure out plan of action

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Posted at 3:38 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 23:06:47-04

The San Saba County Jail has six months to figure out a plan of action for the oldest jail in the nation.

According to County Judge Byron Theodosis, they must decide what their new plan is: building a new jail, restoring their current one or anything else that is a solution.

"We'll have to give them a concrete plan a path of where we're going with this facility whether its restoring this facility and fixing all the issues that come with having a 134-year-old building that's open 24/7 day and night," Sheriff Matthew Boswell said.

The judge said they haven’t ruled out making a new jail and will consider all options.

The San Saba County Jail is 134-years-old, opening in 1883. Sheriff Matthew L. Boswell said most of the problems are from inmates who don’t treat the building well.

In order to fix it, the county would need to spend a lot of money, according to Sheriff Boswell.

"With having the oldest working jail in the nation, there's a sense of pride in that comes with that. That's something that's special to San Saba. That's the oldest working jail in the nation. Small town USA, a little bitty town in Texas," Boswell said.

Boswell said the state gave the jail variances that allowed the building to be exempt from standards for modern facilities, like plumbing and electricity, because of how old the jail is and the historical aspect of it. Without those variances, it could threaten the jail's ability to stay open.

"If we modify the building in such a way where it no longer becomes a historical site then our variances get pulled from us thereby we cant operate the jail because we don't have the variances in place anymore," Boswell said.

There is only one inmate in the San Saba County Jail. If the building was modified to today’s standards, the building would lose its title as the oldest jail in the nation.

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