Jails Committee: What They Decided

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A 13-member volunteer group composed of residents representing various entities within Gila County was appointed to research the need for improved county facilities.

At the completion of its investigation, which included tours, research and consultation with experts, the committee was to make recommendations to the board of supervisors.

After nearly five months of detailed work, which began in January and concluded at the end of April, the committee passed on eight recommendations, which were approved by the board in May.

The recommendations include:

  • The Committee unanimously agrees Gila County needs new jail, court and administrative facilities. These facilities should be designed and built to accommodate growth to the year 2027, and be completed as soon as the requisite funding is available.
  • The Committee recommends that Gila County pursue Inter-Governmental Service Agreements with relevant agencies/governmental bodies to lease excess bed space in the proposed jails to generate revenues and help defray expenses.
  • The Committee recommends Gila County Board of Supervisors implement the "Town Square option" for the Payson facilities and the concept presented by county staff for the Globe facilities. The projects will include designs that strictly adhere to the desired character and context in and around the proposed sites, including any applicable design review requirements.

The Committee recommends that there be strong collaboration between the County, Town of Payson, City of Globe and all relevant stakeholders in both communities.

  • To the extent that it does not compromise facility mission and does not result in unreasonable project cost increase, the design of new and expanded facilities should include joint-use facilities that can be used by other public jurisdictions.
  • The Committee recommends that Gila County bring together a group of diverse stakeholders early in the design process.
  • The Committee recommends that Gila County use the Design-Build project delivery method because it is the most expeditious and most cost-effective.
  • The Committee recommends the board of supervisors establish a "Citizens Implementation Committee" to oversee the complete process of designing and constructing the facilities, once funding is approved.
  • The Committee supports the financing methods proposed for these projects (which) include a "Jails District" funded by a half-cent sales tax for the detention facilities and a "General Obligation bond" for the remaining facilities. Both methods would require voter approval.

Nothing in this paragraph should preclude Gila County from pursuing the most efficient financing mechanism available.

The recommendations were unanimously decided upon by the committee members, except in the case when they were approved by a 12-1 majority.

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