Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Commission urges yes vote on new jail bond


The three-member Blaine County Commission is comprised of second-term Commissioner Sarah Michael, second-term Commissioner and current commission Chairman Tom Bowman and first-term Commissioner Lawrence Schoen.

By TOM BOWMAN, LAWRENCE SCHOEN and SARAH MICHAEL

Your Blaine County commissioners are independently elected members of a three-member board. As you read this, we stand in agreement that Blaine County critically needs a new jail, sheriff's headquarters and emergency dispatch center.

Under Idaho law, you as taxpayers get to make that decision. A Tuesday, Feb. 6, special election awaits your decision whether to approve issuance of a bond to help pay for such a facility. We strongly urge you to vote yes at this election. Here's why:

The proposed new Public Safety Facility is affordable. Capital financing is structured to cost you only approximately $2 per $100,000 assessed valuation on property taxes per year. This will pay for a portion of the project, and the balance will come from current revenue sources including, for example, federal and state payments to the county, and other fees.

The facility is very well designed. It is designed to keep operating costs low, too—including overhead, maintenance and labor. The size of the building is appropriate. It will meet our anticipated requirements, but expansion is possible in case of future need. The design is safe—unlike the current facility—for all: employees, work-release detainees, inmates, female or male.

Your voice has been heard about what you think this project ought to be, but the need is still unmet. We need a new Public Safety Facility. This is the right one. This is the right time. This is the right price.

Vote yes at the special election, Tuesday, Feb. 6.




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