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Downum Seeking C.S.A. Waiver

San Andreas, CA — Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum will be in southern California tomorrow seeking a waiver from the Corrections Standards Authority in an effort to reduce expenditures once the new jail is open and prisoners have been accepted.

According to Downum the state mandates that staffing and operations must be fully funded 90 days after the completion of construction. However given today’s economic climate with reduced state and local funding Downum maintains, “With these economic times I think there should be some understanding that the old rules need to be modified for this particular time in the economic process here.”

As a result Downum will join forces with the sheriffs from San Joaquin and Santa Barbara counties in seeking C.S.A. waivers.

Recently the county hired a consultant to determine the cost of staffing and operating the new jail. The final figure; $4 million. Downum, who labeled that assessment as “the Cadillac version,” and his staff have already reduced that amount to $2.5 million and they’re not done yet.

Downum adds that he is optimistic that the requested waivers will be granted.

As far as the jail construction is concerned Downum stated that they are about 120 days behind schedule. Downum says there is a thought expressed by some in the county that road improvements that could run from a million to five million dollars should be a part of the total project.

Downum comment, “I can’t in good conscious and I won’t in good conscious spend the people’s Measure J money on fixing Mountain Ranch Rd.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com