Canyon County commissioners kill plan to expand jail



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CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — Canyon County will not be expanding its jail but officials say they will consider a bond proposal for a new facility next year.

A plan to expand the existing county jail fizzled after officials failed to appeal an October Caldwell City Council ruling blocking the expansion before last week's deadline, The Idaho Statesman reported (http://bit.ly/2fTcLIO).

County commissioner Tom Dale said Thursday that the county will prepare a plan next year to build a new bond-funded jail on county-owned land in northern Caldwell.

"I believe right now the public awareness of the need for an adequate jail space is higher than it's ever been, and people didn't like the expansion plan," Dale said.

Dale said he expects a fourth bond attempt next November after conducting an analysis of the jail's needs.

Commissioners Craig Hanson and Steve Rule, who have argued that the estimated $14.5 million expansion is the most fiscally responsible way to address the county's need for more jail space, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The decision to abandon expansion plans comes as commissioners supporting a new facility prepare to have a majority come January. For the past year, two of the three county commissioners have supported a jail expansion, but incoming commissioner Pam White is in favor of a new facility.

White is taking Hanson's seat in January.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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