New Grant County Jail


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Welcome to the Central Services "New Jail" blog, which is intended to provide general information to the public and stay up to date on the progress of the new jail.

The creator of content for this blog is the Central Services Director, Tom Gaines. I will endeavor to keep this updated often but currently have no exact timeline for posting updates. You can subscribe to the blog here and select this blog under the "blog" category. By subscribing, you will receive notifications whenever I do provide updates.

You may contact me directly at the County Courthouse, 509-754-2011 extension 3276, with questions or concerns, and I will gladly try to answer any questions one may have. It is intended to provide public information for a project that could have a significant and positive impact on the community. Members of the public are always invited to contact the elected official for their district and voice concerns if they so desire.

Feb 05

A personal story and an offer

Posted on February 5, 2024 at 10:48 AM by Tom Gaines

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I spent close to 25 years associated with the US Navy. Between active and reserve duty, I have had the privilege of serving worldwide. In that time, I collected many items from the places I have been.

One of those items is a chunk of the Berlin Wall, a piece of concrete, hot glued to a little piece of plastic that sits with other memorabilia from 25 years of traveling the globe. There is a longer story behind why that chunk of wall means something to me, but for this post, It’s a small chunk of wall, about the size of a quarter, glued to a piece of plastic, and it’s a memory.

Why would I share this story? I received a call from someone whose family had a long history with the Ephrata raceway. Now, the raceway isn’t the Berlin Wall, but his dad raced there, and he raced there. I’m sure others care about the memories the track provided for them and their families. When the County bought the track, it had been vandalized, torn apart, destroyed by weather, and used as a dumping ground, and there wasn’t anything that people could take, even though some had asked.

Because of that call, I have asked Lydig Construction to save some of the pavement in small chunks. There may be some who would want to do the same thing. As silly as it may sound, memories are memories, and family stories are handed down through generations. When attached to an artifact, the stories are always better.

If you are interested in keeping a small piece of the pavement. Please let me know. My contact information is at the top of the blog page. We can arrange a time when you can go by, grab a small chunk, and toss it on a shelf with your other Knick knacks. We can't keep the pile of asphalt there very long, so after a few weeks, it will disappear and be gone for good.

It may seem silly to some, but others may want a piece of history, never to be seen again.

Jan 24

January Update, the Sequel

Posted on January 24, 2024 at 9:29 AM by Tom Gaines

In the post a few days ago, we discussed the schedule for the track's demolition. Even though Selland has an official start date of February 26th, that did not mean they could not start early if the weather cooperated. The weather is cooperating, and work has begun. The perimeter fencing is down, and the concession stands are being taken down now. We are hoping to begin sewer work next week. We have some obstacles to navigate to see this work begin early. I would like to reiterate to anyone following the blog that they can call the Courthouse directly for updates. If you hear rumors or something that just doesn’t seem right. Please feel free to call. 

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Jan 22

January Update

Posted on January 22, 2024 at 8:12 AM by Tom Gaines

It has been a long road to get to this point. It is hard to describe the amount of work it has taken, the obstacles we have had to overcome, and the number of people involved to reach a point where we can begin. It's been a while since the last update. A lot has happened once again in the background. A SEPA application, removal of nuclear material found at the track, planning for future expansion if needed, and many other considerations before we put a shovel in the dirt. But it is time!

Selland Construction has mobilized some equipment to the site, and Lydig Construction has its job trailer located at the site, where it will stay for the remainder of the project. This is the first of many trailers in a trailer farm that will eventually include many subcontractor trailers. We have added lights, fiber, and surveillance cameras, and soon, Selland will begin removing the concessions booths and leveling the track. Selland has an official start date of February 26th, but they hope to start early if the weather cooperates. You may see them begin work sporadically as the weather allows. I had reported a specific date to the Columbia Basin Herald, but the date changed because of circumstances I could not control.

After removing concession stands, we will begin to level the track site and install water, which needs to be brought from the north side of the highway. This will involve a “Jack & Bore” operation where we will install water under the highway without cutting the pavement. We will also begin installing sewer from the waste treatment plant to the jail site—approximately one mile of sewer pipe. We will coordinate further water installations and reclamation pipe installation with the city.  This work is all early construction preparation of the site to accept the new Jail facility.

Nevertheless, we are moving forward, and although the “background” administrative work continues, the physical work is finally arriving. We will only continue ramping up from here with much more activity in the spring.