New Pueblo County jail in the works; cheaper than expected

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor(KKTV)
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 11:19 AM MDT
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - The plan for a new Pueblo County jail is in the works, and officials say they were able to bring down the expected cost.

Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz and the sheriff announced Wednesday details of new projects, including the new jail and the Joe Martinez Boulevard expansion. Pueblo residents voted yes to increasing the marijuana retail sales tax from 3.5 percent to 6 percent. Some revenue from the marijuana retail sales tax will be allocated to a new jail.

Pueblo officials say the expected cost of the new jail was brought down from $140 million to about $90 million. The jail project would go hand-in-hand with the Joe Martinez Boulevard expansion.

“These are two major projects that would really help connect the Pueblo West area to the Pueblo Boulevard and to the rest of the city. Pretty big for transportation and for public safety," said Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz.

One of the ways that officials were able to decrease the cost of the new jail is by taking the administrative offices of the sheriff and moving them over to the emergency services bureau building.

The current jail has had ongoing issues with sewer systems, infrastructure, and more within the tower. The Pueblo County sheriff has been advocating for a new jail for years but was always voted no on by residents.

“I understand why they’ve said no. Basically, they said, ‘Hey, stop taxing us.’ Right, I get that ... They didn’t say no to increasing the tax on marijuana, and when they voted, they knew it was probably going to go for a new jail, so I think we’ve listened to the voters,” said Sheriff Kirk Taylor.

We will post more updates in the future as we learn them.

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