Colusa County to Seek State Funding from SB 863

COLUSA, Calif. — The Colusa County Board of Supervisors approved the submission of a grant application for $20 million from the state to be used towards a new jail for the county.

The new jail would replace the current facility, which was originally built in 1963, according to the county’s request for proposals (RFP) for a project manager and consultant at the end of last year. The current facility uses linear-style housing units, which make it hard to supervise by staff and is inadequate for providing inmate programs and movement. The Appeal-Democrat reported that the jail has also faced several maintenance issues and is designed in a way that doesn’t provide the necessary housing to accommodate inmates with medical or mental health issues.

The funding for the jail would come from Senate Bill 863 (the Adult Local Criminal Justice Facilities Construction program). The bill makes annual disbursals available to counties for capital improvements that would help in managing jail populations. In June, the state asked for requests for proposals for awards up to $500 million in state lease-revenue bond financing for jail acquisition or construction, reported the Appeal-Democrat.

If funding is approved, the county would construct a 20,000-square-foot, two-story Colusa County Detention and Treatment Facility. The 84-bed Type II Jail would include four program rooms and would be located on land that is already owned by the county. It would be positioned adjacent to and integrated with the existing facility. Additional space would be dedicated to accommodating inmates with mental illness or health needs. While the current jail would remain in place, it has still yet to be determined what its use would be.

Because Colusa County has been denied funding from previous state jail construction grants, it has a good chance of being awarded funding this time, reported the Appeal-Democrat. The county should know as early as October if funding is approved. If so, construction could begin as early as spring 2016 if architectural plans are drawn up and approved quickly.