Buckley council reaches dead with Yakima County jail

Buckley will soon be sending some of its jail inmates east of the mountains.

Buckley will soon be sending some of its jail inmates east of the mountains.

During their most recent meeting, members of the Buckley City Council authorized a contract with Yakima County for housing of those sentenced to more than a brief bit of time behind bars.

For years, Buckley maintained a jail of its own, but halted the costly enterprise. Now, the city primarily uses the SCORE jail in Des Moines.

A staff memo to the council warned that SCORE costs will be increasing, noting that the proposed 2017 rate is jumping to $108.78 per day.

Mayor Pat Johnson said the higher cost makes it tough for Buckley to use SCORE for inmates who could be incarcerated for months.

“It’s very beneficial to use SCORE” for short-term sentences, she said, but the higher costs adds up quickly.

Yakima County is attractive for two reasons, the council was told. First, the daily rate is $54.75 per inmate; and second; Yakima transports inmates five days a week, which would save Buckley both time and money.

In other action during their most recent meeting, members of the Buckley City Council:

• passed a resolution in support of the recently-concluded Music in the Park series. It was a precautionary measure suggested by a government attorney who had issued a warning about city sponsorship of community events.

The concern was that money spent on such activities could violate the “gift of public funds” stipulation found in the state Constitution.

The vote of the council noted that the six-week music series was supported to strengthen a sense of community pride and provide an economic benefit by attracting people to town.

• closed the books on the reconstruction of the municipal parking lot just north of Main Street.

The project saw underground utility work and repaving of the lot immediately behind a row of Main Street businesses, stretching between River and Cottage avenues.

The final bill for the work came to a bit less than $351,000.

• extended a lease agreement with SoZo Crossfit for use of the city’s former fire station.

The business and the city have been negotiating a sale, but have twice extended the lease while talks are ironed out.

A memo from city staff to council noted, “We are still working through obstacles that have come up concerning needed repairs to the building and financing due to the age and uniqueness of the building.”

With that in mind, the council extended the lease until the end of the year.

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