Curry County voters reject $13.4 M jail bond - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Curry County voters reject $13.4 M jail bond

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Clovis, NM - Curry county will not be seeing a new detention facility next year after voters made their voices heard.

On Tuesday (Aug. 6), Curry County voters rejected the latest proposal for a new jail - for the third time in as many years. So that means it's back to the drawing board for commissioners.

The existing Curry County Detention facility is quite simply inadequate to meet the county's current needs, so many of their inmates are transported and housed in other jails, which adds to the expense and complicates logistics like segregating medium and maximum security inmates.

The commission has tried three times since 2010 to build a new detention facility to alleviate the current jail's problems.   In 2010, the proposal included a new courthouse, which voters didn't want to pay for.  In 2012, voters didn't want the facility located within the city itself.

This time around, the plan was to build the $13.4 million facility just outside Clovis and pay for it by extending a current bond, which was set to expire next year, so the commission had to move fast.

"We had a real short span of time to get everything together here, so information was released as we decided it," explains County Commissioner Ben McDaniels, "You know, people probably didn't have enough time to process that to make a decision."

The commission did hold a public meeting last Tuesday to lay out all the details of their new plan.

But after all the votes were counted, the "no" votes outnumbered the "yes" votes by a more than two-to-one margin.  that means the county will continue housing inmates in surrounding jails at taxpayer expense.

"We'll try to do our best running what we have, and run it as safely as possible, and try to continue on doing it that way the best we can," says McDaniels.

McDaniels says he doesn't see the issue being raised again for at least a few years.

If you'd like to learn more about the original proposal or the election itself, follow the links attached to this story.