City officials will soon have to break the news to some Seattle businesses and organizations that they will be neighbor to a city jail in 2012.
It’s not a fun job, but some would say that’s why they’re making the big bucks.
It’s not really their fault though. The number of people in jail on a Seattle misdemeanor has actually gone down 38 percent from 1996 through last year, thanks in part to alternative sentencing and monitoring programs.
But the county, which has been housing misdemeanor offenders for cities including Seattle, is running out of room and plans to discontinue the practice in 2012.
That doesn’t give the city much time to drag its heels over the site.
They fired a warning shot this week, announcing four potential candidates, picked from an initial list of 35. The city said they needed at least seven acres, easy access to arterials and had to be outside residential areas.
They also looked at other factors including access to public transportation, environmental conditions and geotechnical conditions. I’m sure it’s no coincidence the sites are spread across the city.
City officials said sites could be cut or added after a series of public meetings next month. They need to have a site set by early next year in order to make tight design and construction timelines to get the jail built by 2012.
Which do you think they’ll pick?
• 11762 Aurora Ave. N., on land that is now a Puetz Golf driving range and shop
• 1600 W. Armory Way in Interbay, site of the former Northwest Center for the Retarded that was acquired for the monorail
• A site at the corner of Highland Park Way Southwest and West Marginal Way that is jointly owned by the city, the state and private industry
• 9501 Myers Way South, on a vacant lot owned by the city.