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SUPPORTERS URGE S.L. CHAMBER TO WORK FOR PASSAGE OF JAIL BOND

SHARE SUPPORTERS URGE S.L. CHAMBER TO WORK FOR PASSAGE OF JAIL BOND

Supporter for construction of a new Salt Lake County Jail at 825 W. 3300 South are asking the board of governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to support a $120 million May 23 bond election that, if passed, will finance the project.

Sheriff Aaron Kennard told the board he expects a light turnout for the bond election, so it's imperative the proponents generate as much support as possible.Kennard said the existing jail at 500 South and 300 East is 29 years old and has been remodeled many times to accommodate many more prisoners than the original capacity of 350. Because of a federal court mandate, the jail can house a maximum of 700 prisoners, which means when one person is admitted one is "let out the back door."

The sheriff said if there is any tax increase as a result of the bond election passing, it won't be more than $25 per year on a $100,000 house.

David Muir, chairman of the Jail Planning and Construction Committee, said Salt Lake County homeowners have been paying $15 annually to retire the bonds for the County Government Center, and those will be retired about the time the jail bonds will become effective.

Only about $90 million of the $120 million will be spent on the jail originally with the remainder held in reserve in the event new jail "pods" are needed. There is adequate land at the site for jail expansion, if needed, he said.

Although the board didn't pass a resolution supporting the election, Fred S. Ball, chamber president, said the chamber several years ago adopted a resolution advocating construction of a new jail, but at a downtown site.