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Bond to expand Ada County Jail will be included in November ballot

Ada County Jail
Posted at 11:29 AM, Sep 15, 2023

ADA COUNTY, Idaho — The Ada County Board of Commissioners, by unanimous vote, has authorized the inclusion of a general election bond measure on the November 2023 ballot to fund an expansion to the Ada County Jail.

RELATED | Ada County Board of Commissioners Discuss Possible Jail Expansion

In Tuesday's meeting to discuss the project, Terry Derden, Chief Legal Advisor for the Ada County Sheriff's Office said, "We've played Tetris with every bit of square footage that we had and tried to improve everywhere we can, it's just not able to keep up. As we've grown, we just continue to see the daily inmate population creeping up."

The expansion proposed is to upgrade and expand current facilities, totaling approximately 231,000 square feet.

The project will add 294 beds, improvements to general housing pods, the transport center, new and upgraded security and monitoring systems, and expand kitchen and laundry facilities.

The bond is asking Ada County taxpayers for $49 million over 20 years and estimates the impact to property owners at $3.60 per $100,000 taxable assessed value per year.

The bond will require a 2/3 majority to pass in the November 7 election.

The Ada County Jail currently has 1,116 beds available. The jail's average monthly population is just under 1,000 inmates, with over 85% being held on felony charges. The last major expansion of the facility was in 2003.

"This is a big decision and it impacts all of us as a community... pertaining to public safety and jail facilities," said Cameron Arial, President of Clearwater Financial, who is assisting with the proposed bond measure.

You can visit the Ada County Jail website to see detailed information on the project and the financial impact on the county.