PENDLETON – Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said that so far it looks like the funding for renovation of the jail is still in the proposed budget from Gov. Kate Brown. That funding was expected in 2020, but COVID-19 had a negative impact on lottery bond sales.
Rowan said that once he’s banked the check from the state they will start by going out for bids.
“We’re in a unique position in that we’re ready to go,” he said. “We’ve got all the front-end work, the architectural work, done. The county made that commitment. We made that commitment together.”
Rowan said the work is necessary with the number of inmates being brought in suffering from mental health or substance use crises.
“Many times these individuals cannot go into our general population,” he said. “We need a way to isolate them and keep everyone safe.”