Commissioners move forward with new jail proposal

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Jackson County Commissioners decided to move forward with creating a service district to fund the proposed jail.

The jail would cost around $166 million and would be completed by 2023.

If every city in the county agrees to move forward, then the jail would be funded by the county reserve and through the creation of a service district to fund capital construction and additional operating costs with a permanent rate limit of 83¢ property tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

Sheriff Nathan Sickler said the proposed 83¢ property tax is dependent on every city in the county being in the district.

“The rate limit would change if a larger city like Central Point or Ashland declined to be part of the district. That would mean the project couldn’t move forward because the tax burden to the rest of the county would be too extreme,” Sheriff Sickler said.

Sheriff Sickler said the cost would be worth it.

“The cost of crime in Jackson County per-capita is higher than the rest of the state of Oregon and I think forced release is a contributing factor to that cost,” Sheriff Sickler said.

Cities have until June 17th to decide whether they will participate.

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