The Kodiak City Council drew a line in the sand at its meeting last night, stating that this will be the last year it will provide jail services unless the state of Alaska gives the city more money. The council authorized one last contract with the state to provide jail services, in the amount of 600-thousand dollars. The city is in the process of constructing a new police station and emergency services headquarters on Mill Bay Road, but the portion of the building that a jail could occupy is being left empty.
Councilman Tom Walters:
— (Jail 1 50 sec "I’m not sure if everybody … justice system in this state.")
The city will be keeping the current jail open until the end of June next year, after the police operations move out. After that, if the legislature has not appropriated the funds to complete the jail portion of the new police station, the state will have to fly prisoners in and out of town for court appearances. That, according to Councilwoman Josie Rosales, will set up a showdown with the state, which could cost the city the court system.
— (Jail 2 19 sec "The city has put up its portion … what will happen to it.")
Councilman Terry Haines agreed that the current jail is substandard, and compared the city’s closing it to another notable facility being shut down:
— (Jail 3 52 sec "It really is our own little Guantanamo … them to do so.")
Councilman Paul Smith also commented that the city should try to renegotiate another public safety contract with the state as well – this one for communications services for the State Troopers:
— (Jail 4 17 sec "From what I recall with my years … as well negotiate two.")
In other action, the council passed its Fiscal Year 2010 budget of 30-million, 483-thousand dollars. The General Fund portion, which is largely operations and salary, was just under 15-million dollars.
The council also formally accepted the resignation of Councilman Jack Maker, who moved out of city limits. The council will interview candidates on July 21st and select someone to fill the seat on July 23rd. That person will serve until this fall’s elections