Will ask taxpayers for $20 million

By Jack Heffernan

The Daily Astorian

Taxpayers will be asked in November to approve up to $20 million in general obligation bonds for the proposed Clatsop County Jail relocation.

County commissioners gave a nod in March to place the plan on the general election ballot at a $23.8 million price tag. County officials have said some of the money for the project could come from a special project fund and cash reserves. The bonds would cost taxpayers about 21 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, or about $42 per year for $200,000 in property value, according to the sheriff’s office.

If voters approve the bond, the jail will be relocated from Duane Street in Astoria to the former North Coast Youth Correctional Facility in Warrenton. Capacity would rise from 60 inmates to 148 with room for future expansion.

Due to overcrowding, several inmates are released each week before their court cases are resolved without posting bail.

Officials say that without a new jail, the county will have to rent beds from other jails outside of the area. Remodeling the now-defunct youth correctional facility is estimated to cost about half as much as building a new facility.

In other business Wednesday, commissioners:

  • • Approved a three-year collective bargaining agreement with county employees. The agreement specifies that yearly wage adjustments will range from 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

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