New Asotin County jail ready for bidding process
Jan. 25 – ASOTIN – Design work for the new Asotin County Jail is complete and the project is ready to go, Commissioner Chuck Whitman said Monday.
At this week’s commission meeting, Whitman said bids would open in early March and construction could begin this spring. Next year, the new jail along Sixth Avenue in Clarkston Heights is expected to be operational.
“The design was slower than expected as we had to address some utility issues at the Sixth Avenue site,” Whitman said. “We are planning to open in late spring 2023, and we are very pleased with the design. At this time, we are planning to hit the target of 120 beds.”
The architect responsible for the $13.7 million project visited Asotin County officials last week during a stopover in Washington state. Will Rutherford – of Florida-based Clemons, Rutherford & Associates – also visited Grant County to discuss building a new jail there. The Tallahassee firm is overseeing the construction of new correctional facilities across the country, Whitman said.
Over the next few weeks, advertisements soliciting proposed bids will be placed in the Lewiston Tribune and throughout the region, Whitman said. The winning contractor will be named once bids have been reviewed and all requirements have been met.
Funding will be provided by bonds purchased through a 0.3% sales tax increase, which was approved by Asotin County voters in 2019. More than $2 million in revenue was raised at today, said Chris Kemp, chief operating officer. After bond payments, approximately $1.4 million is currently in the account, but revenue will continue to be collected for bond payments and transactions for at least 30 years.
In other county matters:
A waiver for Robin and Kia Cook has been approved so the couple can begin building a residence and detached garage at 3355 Snake River Road near Asotin. The oceanfront property required a waiver so structures could be closer to the property line near the road and meet shoreline regulations, said building manager Karst Riggers.
Whitman thanked the couple for cleaning up the property, commonly known as Mulberry Beach, and investing in the county.
Lamar Companies has been given the green light to install a billboard at 1311 15th St. in Clarkston on property owned by Ron Flerchinger. The sign had previously been approved, but had to go through the conditional use process again due to height issues and an adjustment to its location, officials said. The property is zoned for neighborhood/light commercial uses.
Don Hagan, who lives near the proposed billboard, voiced his objections on Monday, saying the bright light at the bottom of the billboard will shine into his home. The wording of the request, the impact on his home and the general “disrespect” for nearby residents topped his list of concerns.
A Lamar spokesperson said the light will be directed at the panel and should not affect surrounding properties. The company has a long history of working with neighbors to address any concerns, he said.
The commissioners signed a letter in support of the Port of Clarkston’s proposal to build a wharf near the Red Wolf Crossing Bridge and the former Rooster’s Restaurant to service cruise ships. The proposed area has fewer silt and dredging issues and will help meet long-term economic goals, officials said.
“I sincerely hope they get it,” commissioner Brian Shinn said.
According to the letter, the port’s application for the design, engineering and permitting of the Clarkston West Waterfront Wharf is being submitted as part of the Economic Development Administration’s bailout to help communities recover. recover from the deceleration in tourism linked to the pandemic.
Commissioner Chris Seubert, who represents the commissioners on the fair’s board, said a Hells Canyon Rodeo is scheduled for Friday night of the fair weekend and local competitors will be featured on Sunday. A barbecue lunch was eliminated this year due to lack of staff to handle the workload.
Lodging tax revenue grants were provided to Visit LC Valley and the Asotin County Fair. The visitors’ bureau will receive $95,000 for advertising and the fair will receive $11,200 to upgrade its sound system. Lodging tax revenue is earmarked for tourism, officials said, and the fund was boosted this year by a new hotel being built in Clarkston.
The Asotin County Regional Stormwater Office responded to about 2,000 calls after a software glitch with an external billing service indicated residents were late with their payments, said Jeff Wiemer, coordinator of rainy waters. The issue has been resolved and was related to a recent rate increase of 50 cents per month.
Sandaine can be reached at [email protected]