Coalinga’s City Council gave its city manager the go-ahead Thursday night to try to sell its closed jail. Claremont Custody Center has been closed for three years, but the city continues to pay about $100,000 to maintain the 70,000-square-foot complex. The proposal approved Thursday seeks bidders and requires them to lay out their plans for the property….
Coalinga considers putting unused, costly jail up for sale
Source: Marc Benjamin, Fresno Bee, September 3, 2014
Three years after the Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga closed, city officials are weary of the growing financial burden and are considering selling the jail. The City Council will take up the issue tonight. The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had leased the building from the city for 20 years after it opened in 1991. The jail was closed when the state prison realignment program began shifting inmates to county jails. The state removed inmates from the Coalinga jail and three similar Kern County jails that were under state contracts. Today, the city’s 70,000-square-foot jail is a costly vacancy. So Coalinga wants to see if there may be buyers. … The city had to lay off 90 employees and lost about $1 million in annual revenue when the jail closed. In addition, the city and local businesses lost money from local purchases by employees and the jail, which had a $5 million payroll and an $8 million annual budget. Inmates also had provided a cheap source of labor on city projects. …