Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders answered questions and took in comments from county legislators Monday about a proposed new regional jail system.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders answered questions and took in comments from county legislators Monday about a proposed new regional jail system.

The comments come about two weeks after Sanders and Kansas City officials announced that inmates from the Municipal Correctional Institution will be transferred to the Jackson County Detention Center in a short-term cost savings initiative.

The long-term solution is to building a regional correctional facility.

Kansas City will be closing MCI within the next year and will relocate inmates to the detention center. The city will save about $1 million in the deal and the county will get compensated for expenses for each inmate on a per-day basis.

The additional inmates will force the county to find additional room other than the detention center.

Legislator Fred Arbanas asked Sanders if the upper floors of the downtown Jackson County Courthouse are a feasible place. Sanders cited the location at the press conference as something officials would look at determining where to put extra inmates.

Sanders said that option is less viable right now. In the 1980s, the upper floors were used to house inmates. But with the prosecutor’s offices and courtrooms currently occupying the floors, it’s less practicable, Sanders said.

More viable options are using the criminal justice building and the detention center itself.

“These are short-term options,” Sanders said of the transfer.

The goal for the county is to build a regional jail center.That facility would hold prisoners arrested in Kansas City and cities in Eastern Jackson County.

Sanders said the county and city are working together in an ongoing effort to get the transfer agreement completed and a regional jail constructed.

“This is a great undertaking,” said Legislator James Tindell, who added he’s in favor of a regional jail.

Legislator Theresa Garza Ruiz said she would like the Legislature involved in the process of the ongoing talks with building a jail. She personally, citing her background in criminal justice, would like to be involved in the process.

Sanders said the county won’t be asking for a tax increase to fund the project.