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July 22, 2013

No inmates in downtown jail if new facility is built

MOUNT VERNON – Skagit County Administrator Tim Holloran emphasized today that there will be no inmates or staff remaining at the existing jail in downtown Mount Vernon if voters approve plans to build a new county jail.

“A recurring question in recent days has been how the existing jail building will be used after we build a new facility,” said Holloran. “The Sheriff’s Department will remain at the downtown location, but I want to emphasize that all jail operations will be transferred to the new facility.”

A long range planning effort by the Henry Klein Partnership architectural firm, combined with review of county departmental needs, led to a number of decisions regarding use of the existing building space after jail functions are shifted to a new site.

“All jail staff and operations will be consolidated at the new building,” said Holloran, “but the Sheriff’s Department will remain at the downtown address, with use of some of the vacated jail space for Sheriff’s Department operations such as training. Other priority needs that could be met in the old jail include storage of court records and relocation of our computer data center.”

“In both cases,” said Holloran, “the old jail offers a more secure location than existing space.”

Another possibility for the old jail space, said Holloran, might be relocation of county services currently located in leased spaces.