Back on budget, Crook County Jail project resumes

More bunk beds to stay within $17 million cost

After sorting out budget construction resumes on Crook County Jail

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Construction at the Crook County Jail has resumed as officials work to keep the project within budget.

Over the winter, county officials had to take a step back from the original plans for the jail to make sure that the project stays on budget.

Sheriff John Gautney said Tuesday that the project is something that is needed for the community, but he said because it is funded by taxpayer money, it is important that the county stays on budget.

The $17 million project will provide 76 jail beds and allow the county to stop sending inmates to Jefferson County, in turn saving money now spent on renting those added beds.

"That's money that's leaving our county. Our taxpayer dollar that we pay into the county is leaving this county, going somewhere else," Gautney said. Instead, "That money will be reinvested right here in our community."

The plans for the jail were able to be scaled back a bit in order to shave about $2 million off the project. For example, some rooms were consolidated and more bunk beds will be used for inmate housing.

Now that the county has signed off on the new budget, they are able to move forward once again.

County Commissioner Brian Barney said Tuesday it was important that the project stayed on budget because it is funded by taxpayer dollars.

"We definitely are not going to go back and ask for any more money," Barney said. "So I'm real pleased with the work that we have done to trim the cost down and move forward."

This investment should also help the community in other ways.

It will also provide a chance to expand mental health programs and other resources for those at the jail.

"With our new jail, we will have a couple of rooms designed just for that, just for our programs, and so that will be much more available for us then," Gautney said.

The jail was originally slated to be finished in December of this year. But with the delay, they now hope to have it completed by April of 2019 and operational by May or June of next year.

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