GP Council focuses on utility fee to pay for jail beds
The Grants Pass City Council during a joint workshop with the Josephine County Commissioners today urged city staff to continue drafting a utility fee to pay for rented jail beds in the Josephine County Jail.
City Manager Aaron Cubic addressed council about the topic. In order to pay for the jail beds contract the city needs $972,000 annually to pay for 28 beds. The previous contract was for 30 jail beds but the city’s usage has averaged 28 beds. This equates to $3.74 per month for a single-family home with an assessed value of $200,000. Businesses were split into multiple categories for how large of a fee they would pay and the smallest category, which incorporates 86.6 percent of businesses, would pay $12.48 per month. The highest tier of business, which includes Wal-Mart, would pay approximately $1,026 per month as a jail fee.
Councilor Lily Morgan argued that Wal-Mart and other larger businesses were paying too much and a flat rate of $6.63 should be implemented monthly for all residences and businesses.
Councilor Jim Goodwin asked Public Safety Chief Bill Landis how many calls Wal-Mart made to dispatch last year and he said over a thousand. Goodwin felt they would be paying their fair share for service.
The current jail bed contract expires at the end of this month. The council will vote on the renewed jail bed contract during their June 18 meeting at 6:00 p.m. in council chambers.