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Carbon County to continue transporting inmates after jail vote fails

Carbon County jail.jpg
Posted at 8:23 AM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 10:23:03-04

Carbon County Commissioners met Thursday, two days after voters turned down ballot measures for a new jail.

The proposed detention facility would have started with 53 beds with the potential to expand to almost double that.

Commissioner Bill Bullock says there is no other plan at this point.

Bill Bullock phoner.png

The sheriff's office will continue to drive inmates to Rosebud and Broadwater counties at a cost of more than $500 to $850.

Citizens overwhelmingly voted against a $19 million bond to build a new jail and the $1.83 million mill levy for operation and maintenance.

Unofficial results show the bond and mill levy both failed by wide margins, with more than 60 percent voting no on each.

Carbon County election.png

"We put this initiative forth because we had to ask the question on how our constituents want to spend their tax dollars," Bullock said. "I think that our constituents and our residents gave it a lot of thought. There was a lot of emotion around the issue. There hasn't been a detention facility available in Carbon County right now for over 20 years. But we had to ask because like most small counties in Montana, we're spending a lot of money to detain inmates. It's not a problem that's going to go away."

Bullock said the issue is finished and a decision may have to be made with the property the county purchased, southeast of Joliet.