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Jerome County Makes Offer On Land For New Jail

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By Jay Michaels

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) It's been a long time coming, but a new Jerome County jail is one step closer to reality. The county commissioners are watching the process closely so they don't make any costly mistakes.

$340,000 for eight acres of land. That's how much Jerome County offered for property just north of Idaho Milk Products south east of Jerome. The owner has tentatively accepted the offer.

The commissioners are currently waiting for the city's special use permit and appraisal of the property. Each of those steps will take two months to complete.

Jerome County Commissioner Charlie Howell says, "The next couple options after that will be we'll have to pick the architect to write the specs for, pick a design/build team, to build the jail."

Right now, Jerome County Commissioners and the Sheriff's Office expect the new jail to hold 132 beds. The building will house the Sheriff's Administration, Investigation, Support, and Patrol Divisions, as well as the driver's license office.

Lt. Dan Kennedy with the Jerome County Sheriff's Office says, "Construction costs are going to be the end dictator of what that is. We're looking at a building footprint of about 2 ½ to 3 acres for the building itself. The final design team will dictate what the size of the building will actually be."

Jerome County officials hope to break ground on the new jail next spring.

Howell says, "It's great, I'm excited to do it, it's been a long process. We've been at this for nine years trying to get a new jail. We appreciate the public's participation, and the public watchdogs watching over our shoulders to make sure we get it right. Because I don't want to come back and do this again. I certainly appreciate it."

If the ground breaking for the jail occurs next spring, it should be complete by the fall of 2015. Jerome County officials are also looking at the option of purchasing another two acres if it's needed, but that's for much farther down the road.

August 21, 2013.


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