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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Jail Effort Number Four Started Today

THE GUARDIAN read with interest about the launch of new jail effort number four. We have now had three false starts at a new jail over the last three years. The Jerome property 825 bed facility on the boulevard, the 2,000 bed jail city on Hwy. 20/26, the 250 bed temporary facility on Hwy 20/26. Now they bring forward latest offering a tilt-up concrete structure with a $35 million dollar price tag for taxpayers.

The questions flying under the radar are what happens to all the drawings, engineering, and plans for the last two efforts that have cost taxpayers over a million bucks? Is all of this so much rubbish to be tossed aside. Taxpayer money has been spent to the tune of around $1million or so with CH2MHILL for the 2,000 bed jail city. Another $250K or so has been spent with yet another engineering company for the "temporary warehouse jail". Let's add to that the metal tables stolen from the jail site that amounted to $30k of taxpayer money that probably ended up in a scrap yard.

Commissioner Rule seemed very tentative in his belief about the actual passage of a jail bond when it comes up for a vote via his comments in the IPT this morning. The rationale is "everything is cheaper now" in this economy. Forget the fact that people are struggling to make ends meet and jobs are disappearing like cheap bacon in a hot frying pan. Micron, MPC and now Circle J have all eliminated jobs or gone totally out of business in this valley. No signs of fiscal restraint at 1115 Albany by our elected deciders with all this bad economic news.

They have given us a cost figure of $35 million for this bond and not a peep on the operational costs to staff maintain and operate a new jail along with vehicles and manpower to trasport inmates to and from this site.

We need answers on what will happen to all the plans and engineering we already have paid for on a new jail before we make anymore irrational financial moves.

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