The best part: The county can pay for the smaller jail with cash on hand instead of issuing long-term debt that would require raising taxes. There's a takeaway lesson from this episode that one would think should resonate with fiscal conservatives: Smaller government costs less; jails are government; therefore smaller jails cost less.
Indeed, one need only look at the jail fiascos in McLennan and Johnson Counties - where private companies convinced commissioners to build large facilities they didn't need that now sit empty with no contracts to pay the bond debt - to see the mess Grayson County would be in now if they'd actually built a speculative 1,500 bed jail. Grayson taxpayers should thank the police union CLEAT for suing to stop the jail vote last year; given this outcome, it saved them a lot of money and headaches.
See related Grits posts:
- Open records reveal Sheriff's disdain for private jail plans
- CLEAT will sue to delay Grayson jail vote
- Breakout! Burnet jail escape ill-timed for Grayson jail builders
- Jail standards commission altered needs assessment for Grayson County Jail
- TDCJ prisoner decline could bust privatization scheme for Grayson County Jail
- Grayson County Judge pushing irresponsible jail building scheme