LOGAN – On a five to two vote Tuesday the Cache County Council decided not to commit to the state for construction of new jail beds for use by the Utah state prison system. Councilmembers Kathy Robison and Corey Yeates both voted to go along with the state’s proposal.
Cache County Sheriff Lynn Nelson said if the county goes along it would end up with approximately twice the number of beds it has now which is just over 300. Nelson presented both sides of the proposal saying Cache County would get $59 a day under the contract and the state would have a 20-year agreement with the counties.
“If this goes through they’re going to build a facility based on the numbers they need without these inmates that are out to the county,” Nelson said. “So if they cancel the contract, the question then becomes, ‘what happens to those inmates?’
“And that’s a lot of inmates to be turned loose on the street. Right now there’s 1600 inmates out to the jails now.”
County Executive Lynn Lemon told the council he is against the proposal, and one reason is he questions if the state would keep the 20 year-commitment. Both Lemon and Nelson said they hope a decision will not be made too quickly.