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JDA to pursue purchase of NCCRC

By Staff | Dec 19, 2008

The Rugby Area Job Development Authority (JDA) has agreed to pursue the purchase of the North Central Correctional and Rehabilitation (NCCRC) at the appraised price, and contingent on securing the necessary financing.

That decision came at a special JDA meeting on Dec. 18, and a few weeks after USDA Rural Development completed the appraisal of the Class One Rugby facility. The appraised price was just over $2 million.

Brenda Dissette, Rugby economic development director, said this is the first of many steps the JDA will be involved in the purchase process that ultimately will involve some type of long-term lease agreement with the county, and likely the city of Rugby.

The JDA will work with a Community Facilities Loan program through USDA. Dissette said the purchase of the facility will not include sales tax dollars, which funds the JDA.

The NCCRC opened in September of 2006, but has struggled financially to meet all of its expenses, including paying off USDA for the bulk of the construction costs of the $7.6 million facility. Lower than expected inmate counts, especially from the participating counties and cities, made it difficult to generate enough revenue to cover all costs.

In August, the facility still could not make a full, or partial USDA loan payment, so the process of completing an appraisal and exploring transfer of ownership began.

The NCCRC employs around 36, and in addition to housing jail and drug treatment inmates, it also houses local law enforcement offices and the 911 emergency dispatch center.

Last week, NCCRC officials met with the Pierce County Commission to discuss a possible transfer of ownership and a lease agreement involving the JDA. The commission approved working in cooperation with those entities.

Elaine Little, NCCRC administrator, said the board and staff are encouraged by the actions taken by the JDA. If this process moves forward, it would ensure the control will facility would remain local.

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