The County Council has voted unanimously to support remodeling the Cache County Jail and hiring five new jail employees - providing funding can be found.
Sheriff Sid Groll told the council Tuesday that he has recently started charging inmates on court-ordered work release programs $6 a day, with the money to go toward jail improvements."State law allows the jail to charge work-release fees to cover the costs of inmates being booked out and back each day and we estimate this will generate around $30,000 a year, " he said.
Groll asked the council to consider jail overcrowding an emergency situation due to non-compliance with federal and state correctional standards.
Bond elections to fund a new jail were defeated in 1982 and 1985.
County Executive Bruce King is negotiating for the Cache Chamber of Commerce offices adjacent to the law enforcement building. Under the proposal, the chamber would move into the old Hall of Justice so the sheriff's administrative office and dispatch center could move to the chamber building.
Groll said the existing administrative area then could be turned into a dormitory for 10 minimum security inmates.
He estimated that upgrading and expanding the jail and refurbishing the Hall of Justice for the chamber would cost around $750,000.
The sheriff said he will start advertising for five new jail employees to be hired at an estimated annual cost of $148,000.
The council agreed to explore some of the funding options suggested by Groll, which included a dedicated sales tax or property tax.