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DENVER-A 12-member task force recommends building the $300-million Denver County jail at a Sears Warehouse site at West Sixth Avenue and Interstate 25. The site’s central location will save about $1 million annually on the cost of transporting prisoners.

The Sears Roebuck & Co. site was chosen over a city-owned car impound lot at 5610 York St. and land at Interstate 70 and Quebec St. Hoffman Estates, IL-based Sears is willing to sell its 17.8-acre site for about $20 million. In November, voters will be asked to approve a $325-million bond issue for the land purchase and jail construction. All three sites are roughly the same in terms of cost, traffic access, environmental problems and proximity to residents, according to a city analysis.

City councilwoman Debbie Ortega represents the district where the jail would be built. She fully expected the committee to choose that site, which she opposes because she thinks it is too close to houses. Proponents, however, note the area is primarily industrial and several sets of railroad tracks will provide a barrier between the jail and houses.

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