OLYMPIA – Thurston County Commissioners have set a May date as the ballot time for a bond issue, which would support construction of a new Criminal Justice Center. The countywide vote will be held on May 18th.
Commissioners had been considering a vote in March, but commission chair Cathy Wolfe says the later date is more appropriate. "This is a very complex issue that many of us have been studying for three years or more. It's important that county residents take the time to weigh all of the information surrounding the Criminal Justice Center before deciding how to vote. I think it just makes sense to wait until May 18th to give everyone time to evaluate the proposal as completely as they can before the election is held."
As proposed, the Criminal Justice Center would consist of 640 jail beds, most in minimum security with an incarceration wing of 128 maximum-security beds. There is also room for four district and municipal courtrooms and some related offices. The modular facility would be constructed on an "as needed" basis with plans to accommodate the county's criminal justice needs to the year 2025.
The price tag for the facility is set at $103,000,000 and the bond issue would cover $88,000,000 of that cost. It's estimated that the annual property tax cost for a $107,000 home would be $86 a year.
Those who wish more information on the proposal can contact the Thurston County Commissioners Office at 360-786-5440. You can also visit the county web site at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/regionaljail/