Bannock County Jail bond fails by less than one percent

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POCATELLO — A $16 million bond that would have paid for an expansion of the Bannock County Jail failed by less than one percent Tuesday evening.

A supermajority 66.7 percent of votes were needed to pass the bond, but unofficial final numbers show the proposal only received 66.3 percent of the vote.

“It’s disheartening to see that it failed by less than one percent. Two-thirds of the county wanted this expansion but the supermajority rules require us to get 66.7 percent and we’ll go from here,” Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen told EastIdahoNews.com.

The last time voters had a chance to make a decision on the jail was in May 2016. At that time, county commissioners presented an $18 million bond and it also failed with 51.5 percent of the vote.

The new bond would have paid for 100 beds at the jail along with a 24-hour crisis center and a transition center have been added.

Nielsen said he will work with county commissioners to determine what to do next with the overcrowded jail situation.

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