New Jail Coming Soon?
Wards Ferry Improvements
Sonora, CA -- The Tuolumne County Supervisors are hoping to receive state funds for the construction of a new jail facility.
Tuesday the Supervisors voted unanimously to submit a request to receive up to $20 million from an SB 1022 grant. The latest cost estimate for the 49,000 sq. ft. proposed jail facility is $35.8 million, so the county would need to come up with the remaining shortfall.
CAO Craig Pedro told the Board the options include; further reducing the costs during the design phase, set aside ongoing General Fund dollars over the coming years, attempt to pursue AB 900 funds for the project, put a general obligation bond on the ballot, or borrow money externally.
The county should hear back about whether it will receive grant money by February. If the county is selected, the Supervisors would vote on whether to actually accept the grant. At that point, the Board would need to finalize a plan on how to cover the remaining $15 million plus that is needed.
The deteriorating county jail currently has space for 140 inmates, but a County Needs Assessment referenced at Tuesday's meeting shows that nearly 270 beds would be ideal. The current plan for the new jail calls for 198 beds, with the ability to add anywhere from 80 to 120 at a later time.
The county already has the infrastructure in place off Old Wards Ferry Road.
Written by BJ Hansen