I would like to remind the citizens of Blaine County about the special election to be held on Feb. 6 to vote on a bond request to finance a new County Public Safety Facility. The facility will house a jail, sheriff's office and consolidated dispatch center to replace a 34-year-old building that is inadequate and in the final stages of disrepair. Blaine County experienced numerous lawsuits in the 1990s because of the jail's inadequacies, is actively fighting a current lawsuit, and has signed a consent decree in federal court that we will do our best effort to build a new jail. We do not want to continue to lose our tax dollars to a lawsuit.
The project will have minimum financial impact to taxpayers, estimated to be less than 2 cents per $1,000 property valuation, or, put another way, $10 per year for a $500,000 property. The building is estimated to cost $13 million, of which $10.46 million would be financed through general obligation bonds.
Early voting up to the day of the election can take place through absentee ballots or in person at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. Also, the Elections Office phone number is 788-5510 if you have questions as to where to vote on Feb. 6 or how to register. All registered voters regardless of where they live in the county can vote on this issue.
If you have any doubt about the need, we have set aside every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for tours of our existing sheriff and jail facility. No appointment required; just show up at 201 1st Ave in Hailey. If Wednesdays do not work for you, please call me and a tour will be arranged around your schedule.
If you have any questions, feel free to call me at work, 788-5500 or home, 788-3894.
Chairman, Board of County Commissioners