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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jail Bond Meeting Summary With Commish Alder and Chief Deputy Deulen

Tuesday evening THE GUARDIAN attended the public forum held at the Canyon County courthouse. Bonding costs were covered very well. Property taxpayers will be asked to fund an additional $3 million a year in taxes to pay for $46 million in borrowed funds over 20 years. Roughly $60-$64 million will be the total payback based on underwriting costs and actual interest rates when and if bonds are put up for sale.

What was not covered clearly at the Tuesday meeting was staffing and maintaining of the new jail project. THE GUARDIAN called Commissioner Kathy Alder for a meeting to try and clarify some serious questions. Commissioner Alder and Chief Deputy Deulen sat down and we went through all the issues.

What will this cost you? $32.94 per $100,000 of net taxable value on your property. So dig out your tax notices and you can nail it down to the penny what it will cost.

The short version is the old jail will be shut down. The Daile Haile Jail (DHJ) will be made into primarily a women's facility for lock down and work release for women inmates. Additionally, part of the DHJ will be used for a holding area for male inmates going to court.

The staffing of all operations will be 19 people per shift of Jail Deputy staff and the remaining ancillary staff for clerical, and inmate supply staffing will remain the same but will service both jail sites.

Pods at the new jail site will be staffed with three deputies per pod. Five people will be in the booking area of the new jail. A transport bus will more than likely have to be purchased with the bulk of transports done with minivans and full sized van vehicles.

Medical services at DHJ will move out to the new jail site. Current Juvenile medical staff will be required to take over the duties for the women who will remain on lock down at DHJ.

The new jail will have three full time dedicated maintenance staff. The water, sewer and other utilities will come from the $125k mentioned for maintenance costs. The DHJ current costs are about $93k/year for the aforementioned utilities.

Current costs for the Daile Haile Jail are $7.9 million for labor and $1.4 million for maintenance. This makes the cost to take care of 300 inmates, 250 in the DHJ and 50 in work release come out to around $84/day cost to the Canyon County taxpayers. As the inmate count moves, the average cost per day will move as well. The new jail will not lower total costs but will allow for more inmates at the same or slightly increased costs.

I have tried to keep this short and as straight forward and I can make it. I would encourage anyone with questions to contact Commissioner Alder or Chief Deulen.

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding work Paul.

    Thank you for following up and asking the hard questions before making an assumption and criticizing from the cuff. I know this is an emotional topic for folks but I am glad to see you took the time to ask and have kept opinion out of this post and stuck to reporting factual information. Once again, I don't want taxes going up either, but I sure as heck would rather see my tax dollars working for me than being handed out to settle lawsuits like Sherriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. He's shelled out 44 million of the Maricopa County tax payers dollars settling lawsuits out of court over jail conditions and is even being sued by his own deputies now! Not only that his insurer has raised his deductible from 1 million to 5 million because they are high risk. His tough stance backfired big time! Sure the taxpayers loved it at first , that is until they saw the price tag attached for inhumane and unconstitutional treatment of prisoners. Don't think ole Joe Arpaio is gonna last another term and is going to go the same way ole George Nourse went.

    Thank you again Paul, this was a lot more informative than the last post and allows me to decide for myself whether it is a good use of my tax dollars. By the way, I think the jail already has a transport bus.

    Might want to check on that. Also you might want to find out how many 5 mile round trips will be made a day on transports between facilities. My guess....2 per day. Don't see how that will bankrupt the county but who knows.

    Question for you, if I own $100,000 of real property, how much will my annual property tax bill go up to fund the building of this jail?
    $10 a year? $100 a year? Just curious. I will support it if it's not too bad. If it's too much then no.


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