By Steven Page
Letter To The Editor 

Detention Center Paying Off For County?


Dear Editor:

Commissioner Pippin’s report that the Valley County Detention Center had become profitable at a recent public meeting was further expanded on by Commissioner Reinhardt in last week’s Courier.

I am not in a position to debate the issue, because I do not have all the numbers and some of Commissioner Reinhardt’s numbers were represented as estimates and probabilities.

However, I might suggest that the commissioners use a different form of accounting and business practice than I am accustomed to.

They are not considering the time value of money, depreciation and future maintenance. The future value of $3,700,000 at 3 percent for 30 years is nearly $9,000,000, and normal depreciation for 30 years (IRS Guidelines) is $123,000 annually.

The Federal Government has determined it to be more cost effective to lease administrative facilities than to build and own, and would expect to pay in excess of $360,000 annual rent to the owner of this facility.

It was reported that utilities for the Detention Center are not included in the $337,000 budget, as I am told that utility expense for county buildings is consolidated under one line item in the annual county budget.

It is my recollection that the finance of this facility was represented as not requiring tax dollars and would be paid for with Federal funds. This was true, but we may not have been informed that PILT funds that otherwise contribute to the General Fund and could help fund the County Health Department, was earmarked for the Detention Center.

Additionally, the county lost traditional revenue from the city of Glasgow for the space previously headquartering the police department following construction of the new facility.

Furthermore, this facility resembles a commercial warehouse and detracts from our once beautiful courthouse campus.

Steven Page



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