Federal Way to pay Buckley for permanent space in jail

Buckley City Council members voted to give the go-ahead to Buckley Police Chief Jim Arsanto, Mayor Pat Johnson and City Administrator Dave Schmidt to sign a contract with the city of Federal Way dedicating a minimum of five beds in the Buckley jail to inmates from the King County city.

The contract is expected to go into effect May 1 and it will remain in place until Dec. 31, 2011.

“The city administrator explained to me that the primary use of the contract will probably be for females, but the contract is not limited to female inmates so that they could put in males or females if they need to,” Arsanto said.

Buckley has numerous contracts with other cities to hold their inmates, but the new contract is unique in that Federal Way will pay for five beds whether they are occupied or not. Additional beds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, as is the case in contracts with other cities.

At $57 a bed, the contract will bring in at least $173,850 to the city general fund. The amount will be collected in monthly installments.

The focus on female inmates will force the jail to rethink the arrangement of bunks in that holding area, Arsanto said.

Buckley Jail has three holding arrangements. One arrangement is a traditional cell block, one consists of cells and a common day room with kitchen and another is an open concept, where inmates are held in one large common room. The latter arrangement is how Buckley jail holds its female inmates.

In other action, the council:

• voted to enter into an agreement with Value Added Communications to handle phones in the jail. The new system will include a central computer that lets jailers block certain numbers if an inmate has a no-contact order.

• declared four police vehicles and one drug seizure vehicle as surplus and for sale. The vehicles will be donated to the Arts Commission to auction at the Buckley Eagles clubhouse in May. The proceeds will help fund the city Veterans Memorial.

• Approved a two-year lease of the Miller property for the Haunted House run by Dennis and Diane Wink.

• nominated Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson for the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners’ at-large position.

• proclaimed April 26 as Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

• approved a memorandum of understanding defining the roles and responsibilities between the Buckley Police Department, the Buckley Jail and OptumHealth Pierce Regional Support Network.

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