Yakima County Looking to Fill Budget Shortfall
Yakima County is looking for ways to fill a big deficit caused by a loss of bed rentals at the county jail. In 2010, the county was pulling in $23 million when cities from around the state were renting space for their inmates in Yakima County. In 2013, the county expects to take in just $5 million and is left trying to make use of the multimillion dollar facility that now sits empty on the fairgrounds. For the 2013 budget, the county had a $5.8 million shortfall in the Department of Corrections. To make up for it, $3 million was pulled from roads, $1.2 million was cut in operational costs, and $1.6 million cut in law & justice. To “pay the bills” on the empty fairground building, the county plans to fill it up with various agencies. Until then, the county says it is most focused on restoring the lost bed rentals.