City Approves New Jail - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

City Approves New Jail

Posted: Updated:
MILES CITY -

Miles City voters approved a $7.5 Million Detention facility Tuesday night. The outcome came as a surprise for commissioners.

The votes came in as 940 against and 2,402 in favor of a new Custer County Jail. "We were very surprised by the margin of success with our bond issue. The excitement of it is overwhelming to be able to continue and move forward," Custer County Sheriff, Tony Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh said the existing jail was shut down in October of 2012, because it was too small, too cold, and the ACLU was concerned over its conditions. "And, I think we've squeezed every bit of usefulness out of it in the 109 years we've used it now. It's time for it to be replaced. It truly is," Harbaugh said.

County Commissioner, Kevin Krausz, said the old jail has a lot of history, but he's happy to see the new 28-bed structure take shape in a couple of years. "It was a tough sell. When you're asking the public to come up with $7.5 million, it's pretty tough. The public responded and said, 'yeah, let's build a new jail.' So, we're excited about that," Krausz said.

Just to get a perspective of how old this jail is, this is where the execution-style trap door sits, where criminals would take their last step, before falling to their death. "We need to be able to meet the standard. That standard includes things like direct sunlight, fresh air, and a place to exercise," Sheriff Harbaugh said.

At last count, about 12 Custer County prisoners were housed some 200 miles away in Glasgow. City officials said even though the new facility comes with a hefty price tag, it will be worth it versus paying for transportation costs.

County commissioners estimate the new facility will cost the owner of $100,000 home, approximately $50 a year for the next two decades.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Musselshell County Eyeing River Levels

    Musselshell County Eyeing River Levels

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:38:44 GMT
    As warm weather becomes more prevalent, more people are out and about doing outside activities. However, this warm weather, paired with spring showers causes concern for Musselshell County DES Coordinator Jeff Gates.
    As warm weather becomes more prevalent, more people are out and about doing outside activities. However, this warm weather, paired with spring showers causes concern for Musselshell County DES Coordinator Jeff Gates.
  • Organ Donations

    Organ Donations

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:28 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:28:47 GMT
    80 percent of Montanans over the age of 18 are registered organ donors, according to Penny Clifton with donate life council. Clifton says that is the highest number in the nation.
    80 percent of Montanans over the age of 18 are registered organ donors, according to Penny Clifton with donate life council. Clifton says that is the highest number in the nation.
  • S.T.E.M. Luncheon

    S.T.E.M. Luncheon

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:21:44 GMT
    The Education Foundation and Billings Public Schools host a S.T.E.M. luncheon at the Billings Career Center.
    The Education Foundation and Billings Public Schools host a S.T.E.M. luncheon at the Billings Career Center.