Commissioners signed bond issue to build jail

OlympiaMarch 6, 2014 

What do you call it when somebody buys something, but can’t afford to use it because it cost too much to operate? In Thurston County we call it the ARC or Accountability and Restitution Center, built by our county commissioners. The ARC was announced as finished in November 2010 by the county manager. Just to have the building sit empty at a cost of $500,000 per year.

The cost to build was financed through sale of general obligation bonds, the most major issue of bonds was approved on March 3, 2009, through Resolution 14205 for $44 million. This was approved by all the current commissioners which include Karen Valenzuela, Sandra Romero and Cathy Wolfe. They decided to build it, they are responsible for the wasted dollars to pay for and maintain it.

It has never been used. Cost can be better understood in the following terms of how we citizens earn and spend money. First is cost per hour/24 hours per day : $426.89: Cost per day: $ 10,245: Cost per month: $311,633: Cost per year: $3,739,600. This is just the cost of interest and maintenance on the facility.

An empty facility. Over the last several years, it adds up to be well over $10 million of wasted tax dollars. Any employee(s) to make such a financial mistake should offer their resignation(s), not just choose to lie to their employers about how someday it will all be worth it.

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