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Santa Barbara County To Try New Effort To Ease Jail Overcrowding

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 12:27am

Santa Barbara County is taking another approach in its effort to secure state money to build a new jail complex, to ease chronic jail overcrowding.

The County Sheriff’s Department had already received a commitment for a $56 million dollar state grant for the project, but it had to come up with 25% in matching funds.  The County’s voters rejected a proposed half cent sales tax earlier this year which would have provided the remaining construction money, as well as some operating revenue.

Now, County Supervisors have tentatively agreed to apply for an upgraded grant of $80 million dollars for a slightly larger jail, which if granted will only require a 10% match.  It would allow the county to build a larger jail at a lower cost.

Even if the upgraded grant is approved, there are still questions about raising the money for the remainder of the construction costs needed, as well as operational revenue.

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