Letter from the Commissioner

Dear Bannock County Residents:

One of Bannock County’s main responsibilities is the public safety of the county and its residents. The bond proposal for the Bannock County Jail facility addition and Behavioral Care Center would address our community’s increased need to place those in jail who need to be placed there by our judicial system. The proposal would be a collaboration between county, city, state, private and community organizations seeking to provide a continuum of care that addresses public safety and behavioral health needs.

Our jails are not designed to treat those incarcerated; however, a significant number of incarcerated individuals need mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. The county does not have the adequate resources to administer such treatment. The proposed Behavioral Care Center would provide such guidance and direction, addressing the need for crisis care and alternatives to incarceration and hospitalization.

It should be noted Bannock County would be partnering with the State of Idaho for $1.5M a year for three to five years. The state requires a public entity to serve as the fiscal agent for the Crisis Center. Therefore, it is recommended that the county serve as the fiscal agent since we are already administering the Bannock County Jail facility. The proposed solution would provide Bannock County the opportunity to leverage the $2M initial bond obligation from taxpayers by up to another $10M dollars from our community partners.

In addition to the investment by the community, the proposal would include an ongoing financial commitment by the county, state, and judicial system to keep the doors open. Once the Behavioral Care Center is fully operational, the plan would be for the community to continue to solicit the State Health and Welfare department for an additional financial commitment, along with the Federal government and insurance companies.

Our community is in crisis. There is significant work ahead of our community to combat and stem the growth of the abuse of narcotics, which continues to grow across Southeast Idaho and across the nation. I encourage Bannock County residents to educate themselves on all matters related to the bond.

Ultimately, the choice is yours when you cast your ballot on November 7.

Ken Bullock
Bannock County Commissioner, Chair