Mini Editorial

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Best possible move on the BV Jail

There has been plenty of loud and long debate about where Buena Vista County should locate a new jail, how big it should be, what it should cost, and how it should be used.

The county Board of Supervisors will no doubt be criticized again for going ahead and reaching a price deal with SLADC to potentially buy the vacant spec building.

But something had to be done to get us off the block here. We could debate forever, and never solve the space and safety needs that are real beyond any argument.

The Supervisors have locked us into nothing. If a public vote does not pass, or if another alternative is found before that vote, the deal is off. SLADC has wiggle room too, just in case a big break should come on a private use for the spec building.

Now that the board has taken action, we would love to see them go to the table with peers of all surrounding counties. A regional jail can't be far off, and with the space and flexibility of the spec building, our county for once has an opportunity to bring in revenue by providing for some needs for certain classifications of prisoner from around the region, as opposed to the bleeding we have taken from other detention facilities, at rates of up to $150 a day per detainee.

The supervisors had to do something. We think they did the best thing they could.