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Bond Measure For Jail?

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Challenges to building a new jail were highlighted in Tuolumne County’s response to the Grand Jury Report.

As reported previously, the 2012 version of the Grand Jury Report was critical of the county’s current facility and highlights the need for a new complex. In the official response the Supervisors approved today, the Board acknowledged the need for a new jail and stated that they will continue to seek state grant funding. If the grant funding materializes, the county will likely have to come up with some additional revenue.

“To the extent that the required match amount exceeds the county’s ability to fund out of existing resources, the Board will consider approaching the public with a bond measure for the balance needed,” read CAO Craig Pedro, from the formal response. “This will require a thoughtful and comprehensive public information program on behalf of the Board, Sheriff and county staff.”

County Administrator Pedro asked the Supervisors if they were comfortable placing that line in the response. It was noted that this is how Calaveras County is funding their new facility. Supervisor Evan Royce stated that he would like an additional line to be added, stating that the county will continue to pursue alternatives and savings to reduce the price and scope of the project.

The estimated cost to build the jail is $48 million. The land, off Wards Ferry, already has the infrastructure in place. Tuolumne County missed out on the previous round of AB 900 grants given out by the state. Had Tuolumne County been selected, the most funding that would have been available for a county of its size was $33 million. The state is planning to eventually accept applications for Phase III AB 900 grants.

The Board also gave formal responses related to the Central Sierra Planning Council, Road and Fleet Services, County Compensation and Benefits, Environmental Health, CAL Fire, and the Twain Harte Interceptor. The Supervisors meeting will continue into the afternoon. You can listen through the multimedia section of