Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Clatsop County May Take An Updated, 170 Bed, Existing Sheriff's Department/Jail To The Voters In 2012!For Approval

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011


Clatsop County officials are updating an existing plan for expanding the obsolete county jail, with the goal of seeking voter approval next year for the long-sought project.

At its Oct. 12 meeting the county board of commissioners will be asked to allocate up to $100,000 to revisit a five-year-old study that recommended remodeling the facility at Seventh and Duane streets in Astoria.

The funds will pay for schematic plans for a new expansion option based on the old study, as well as a new cost estimate for the construction of an all-new jail facility for cost-comparison purposes.

If the board approves the allocation, the county will seek bids for detailed schematics and cost estimates for the remodel option. County officials hope to put a bond measure before Clatsop County voters in the May or November election in 2012.

The expansion would add up to 100 beds to the existing 69-bed facility, which has long been deemed inadequate in size and design for the needs of the county’s public safety and criminal justice systems.

“We have known for years that the current jail doesn’t meet our needs, and the county commissioners have made it one of their top priorities to address this issue,” County Manager Duane Cole said.

The 2006 study, completed by the DLR Group architectural firm, proposed adding 80 dormitory-style housing units to the ground level of the facility where administrative space for the Sheriff’s Office is currently located, at an estimated cost of just under $5 million. County staff has determined that this option would not work due to operational and constructability issues.

A new second option, for which no detailed engineering or design work has yet be completed, would involve a more extensive remodel of the current jail and boost its total capacity to 170 beds.

Construction of an all-new jail, which has been tentatively proposed for the county’s North Coast Business Park in Warrenton, has previously been estimated to cost approximately $12 million, not including site preparation.

Numerous studies have illustrated the inadequacy of the existing jail, which first opened in 1977. Built with an original capacity of 29, its capacity has been increased with the use of portable beds and other make-shift measures. But even the expanded number is deemed too small by the Sheriff’s Office and consultants, who say the county needs at least 120 jail beds to meet its needs.

The current lack of beds means criminal offenders frequently serve only a few days out of longer sentences, and probation violations often go unpunished. The crowding has also raised concerns about safety for staff and inmates, as the facility has limited space for separating violent offenders from the rest of the population.

Clatsop County last sought voter approval for a jail project in November 2002, when a bond for a new jail facility was defeated by a 59 percent to 41 percent margin.

Released by:

Tom Bennett

Community Relations Coordinator

(503) 338-3622


Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Sheriff Bergin will actually have to leave Salem to prove to Clatsop County voters we actually need a new jail, or will he leave that task to his minions?

Patrick McGee said...

Do you have any factual data that clearly confirms your allegation that Sheriff Bergin is living in Salem and is negligently attempting to lead his department in absentia?

Anonymous said...

Sure, read all about Bergin's accomplishments in the Daily Astorian. None of them relate to Clatsop County and all of them relate to the OSSA (in Salem) and his frequent visits to the Legislature (also in Salem).
Do you have any factual data that clearly confirms that Bergin has any accomplishments in Clatsop County?

Patrick McGee said...

And predictably..."Nothing" but, I'll give you this one because I should not have asked the question, even knowing full well the answer that would come....sorry.

Jim said...

Bergin was the President of the State Sheriff's Association during a legislative session. He was voted Sheriff of the Year.
He completely reformed the Probation Department, got rid of dead wood and promoted very good people.
He has saved a LOT of money and somehow has actually reduced his budget.
His drug team, without any help from the Astoria City Fathers (why is that?) continues to arrest significant amounts of meth, oxy, and heroin.
Other than that, I guess he hasn't done much.....

Bill said...

As President of the OSSA Sheriff Bergin co authored a strong message saying the medical marijuana dispensaries were illegal and should be closed down. That message was printed in the newspaper and, I can't recall exactly but I think Patrick printed here. At the time, it was reported that Clatsop County had two such dispensaries. Has the Sheriff shut them down yet?

Anonymous said...

No, he hasn't shut them down, yet. He wont either because of, well, you know.

Bill said...

No, I don't know.
If our Sheriff Tom Bergin, who was elected by us to enforce the law and was also selected by his peers to be the President of his state organization and then made the sheriff of the year by his organization says a business is illegal and must be shut down, he should make his words good. He certainly has the power and he was elected to do just this. Otherwise, he is just a fart in the wind.
Bergin came out publically against these dope parlors, he has done nothing.
Why has he not been more than just a fart in the wind?

Anonymous said...

Because, Bill, Bergin lacks the courage.
He is very good at puffing up his chest and making outrageous statements, like the ones he used to make at Rotary before he quit. He is not good at the doing part of his job. You should work with this guy and would see that his forte is just to let other people do things.
Besides, if he actually enforced the drug laws he and Marquis would lose votes from a third of the people in Clatsop County.

Anonymous said...

Some say the rumors that have followed Bergin since his tenure with Seaside PD through to the present are nothing more than that-rumors. Well, Im here to tell you that they are TRUE. Where there is smoke, there is usually a fire somewhere and Bergin will never out distance his past just as long as he chooses to continue to live and work here

Anonymous said...

So I am just dying to hear the rumors