Crook County expects to open jail in July
The jail bed rental agreement between Jefferson County and Crook County ended on June 30, and a new month-to-month agreement started July 1.
Crook County is close to opening its own jail, and held a public tour for the new facility Saturday, June 22. They haven't gone public with when they will be housing their own inmates, but it's expected to be relatively rapidly, likely this month.
Under the new agreement, Crook County will only pay for beds they need, instead of having a minimum bed total they pay for regardless of whether those beds were used or not, and either party can end the agreement with 30 days' notice. The past amendments were for year-long commitments.
Crook County has been renting beds in Jefferson County essentially since the facility opened in 2001. A contract originating in 2010 has been amended every year since then, and the current amendment is the 11th to that contract.
Crook County was renting 16 to 32 beds, an average of 25 per day, which totaled near $700,000.
The current budget to operate the 160-bed Jefferson County facility is $6.03 million per year. With the ending of the Crook County arrangement a key factor, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office went out for a new operation levy in May, and voters approved it by a 10% margin. County voters soundly rejected a $1.70 per $1,000 value levy for jail operations last in November, but approved the levy request in May for $1.24 per $1,000. Sheriff Jim Adkins reduced the total needed by utilizing carryover funds.