From the July 2000 Idaho Observer:
Attorney to sue K-County over jail issues
COEUR D'ALENE -- Scott Reed, one of the region's most notorious and successful attorneys, filed a complaint against the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners in Kootenai County District Court June 30, 2000. The complaint was filed in response to indications that county officials violated several statutes in an effort to force county taxpayers to fund a $12 million jail expansion project (The Idaho Observer, May, 2000) against their will.
In May, 1999, voters declined to build a new jail at the ballot box. According to Reed, state law demands that at least one year pass before the same issue can be put to another vote.
That may be a more difficult issue to prove since the people did not vote on whether or not they approve the construction of a new jail. They were given the choice of paying for it through the threat of increased property taxes or a Resort County Local Option Sales Tax.
Reed believes there are no provisions in, nor was it the intent of a state act to give resort communities the authority to implement a tax to build a jail. He also believes that state law governing the construction of public buildings does not provide the option for them to be financed through a sales tax.
Prior to the complaint being filed, it was learned that K-County and First Security Bank had agreed that the county would pay the bank $200,000 to administrate the sale of $12 million worth of bonds to pay for construction of the jail. It is also rumored that the K-County Board of Commissioners intend to raise property taxes regardless.
K-County taxpayers have already paid $500,000 in architectural fees for jail drawings that the public has never seen. It is rumored that commissioners are loathe to make the plans available to the public because it isn't a jail that is being proposed. There is justifiable concern that the leaders of this resort county intend to build what would more accurately be described as a high-tech, maximum security prison to service north Idaho.
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