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Nassau Co. Sheriff not giving up on getting a new building

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Updated: 6/28/2013 5:41 pm

YULEE, Fla. -- The Nassau County Sherriff's Office isn't taking no for an answer. Earlier this month, it was denied a $500,000 grant from the state, to help construct a new home for their office.

Now, they've devised a new plan that they hope will get the county's approval. The sheriff's office is looking to ditch those run-down trailers it is working out of now. It was recently slated to get a 50,000-square-foot building, but the price tag was too high, so now it's scaling back to finally see the vision come to fruition.

Fighting crime hasn't been an easy task for the Nassau County Sheriff's Office, especially with the conditions they're working in. Employees tells Action News they're hoping the tight quarters, unstable trailers and outdated equipment will one day be a thing of the past.

"I tried to turn the heat on during the winter, and we thought we started a fire because the dust on the heating coils smelled horrible," said dispatcher Lisa Jones.

Since 2001, Sheriff Bill Leeper says they've been teased with an ideal facility on paper, but no funds to construct it. So Leeper is making some changes, and showed me what's in store.

"We added another corridor on this side and more room on this end here to make it about 36,500 square feet," he said.

We're told that's a significant downsize compared to the 50,000-square-foot facility they were looking at, that would have cost $12 million to 15 million. This floor plan is priced at under $10 million, a bill that Leeper says the county can afford.

"They're going to get some of the funds from the 2013 1-cent tax money that the county has and they're going to take some money from reserves," he said.

The sheriff submitted those plans to the county council on Thursday, and we're told they're checking into it to see exactly how much the building would cost.

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