Delta County Sheriff’s Office hopes jail tours will show the need for a new facility

The Delta County Sheriff’s Office believes its 50-year-old prison is becoming obsolete.

That’s why Sheriff Gary Ballweg is allowing community officials and government leaders to tour the facility, and take note of the need for improvements.

Currently, the cost of running the jail is taking over the county’s budget.

“It’s very expensive costs that it takes to maintain the facility, and what it’s doing to the budget of the county every year–about a half million dollars a year has been going into this facility for the last several years, and that has to stop,” Delta County Sheriff Gary Ballweg said.

The tour included stops in the kitchen, laundry room, jail cells, and booking areas.  The Sheriff’s Office still conducts daily maintenance on the current facility to make it livable for its 65 inmates.

Ballweg hopes a new jail will be built in the next few years.

“The next steps are to determine a site for a new facility, and then how we will finance the facility,” he said.  “Then a committee will be put together and we’ll invite people at the National Jail Association to come in and give us recommendations so we can build a proper facility that’s going to last for the next half century.”

Tours of the jail will continue for the next two Wednesdays, on February 26 and March 5.