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HCSO takes jail funding appeal to the state capitol

HUMBOLDT COUNTY- The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is moving forward with a jail funding appeal and taking it to the state capitol. The county was counting on a $20 million grant from the state to build a new resource center, to help with the counties realignment issues, but that application was denied, and now the county is pursing an appeal.
"This is going to be a historical appeal,” said Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, “They have never had an appeal granted for project like this."
The project would bring resources such as mental health, probation, and housing programs to help inmates transition back into society.
"It was not intended so much for hard beds, it was more intended to assist those to get back into the public life,” said Downey.
Humboldt county was one of fifteen small counties eligible to apply for an allocated $100 million dollar, however each grant would be capped at $20 million and would require the county to provide a match of up to ten percent. During the county's review though, the Department of Finance stated the county had not set aside funds for the project.
"It was quite clear in the board of supervisors resolution that this money was designated and set aside for this project,” said Downey, but the state wanted that money to be earmarked and put into a separate account, something the county was not able to accomplish in such short notice.
"That is the thing we are appealing, is the fact that the urgency of this request was such that we feel we were not able to fully comply in the way we would have liked to."
Six counties total were awarded the grant and only three, including Humboldt County has been granted an appeal. Downey said with the increasing impacts of prison realignment hitting the county hard, it is important to get this round of funding sooner, rather than later,
"County’s are drowning due to prison realignment, if we do not get this round of funding, it will delay the project another year."
Sheriff Downey will go before an appeal board in Sacramento Tuesday afternoon. The county could know as early as Thursday as to whether or not the grant will be awarded.