County Commission Approves Detention Center GRT Increase

On Thursday, March 15, the Sandoval County Board of Commissioners approved two Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) increase ordinances which are intended to fund renovations to the Sandoval County Detention Center.

Each of the approved ordinances is for a 1/16th of a percent increase to the GRT for a combined total of a 1/8th of a percent increase. The ordinances both place restrictions on the funds which only allow the money to be used for the renovations, and then the maintenance, of the detention center. In addition, one of the ordinances has the option to sunset, or expire, in 10 years from the date of enactment, which would leave just the 1/16th increase to remain and pay for facility maintenance. Shoppers in Sandoval County will not see the increased GRT reflected in their purchases until January of 2019.

The money raised from the GRT increase, which will equal an annual cost of $12.50 to the average family that spends $10,000 a year in the county, will pay for much needed renovations to the 30-year-old detention center facility which was built in 1988. With this approval, Sandoval County now joins all but three other Counties in the state who have a detention center specific GRT.

“All of the staff at the detention center is so pleased that the County Board of Commissioners approved the GRT increase,” said Detention Center Director Gilbert Armendariz. “These funds will go toward renovations that will immediately enhance the safety and security for the community, our staff and the inmates.”

Some of the renovations being paid for with the funding from the GRT increase include:

  • A new security perimeter fence
  • New cell doors
  • New plumbing
  • New and enhanced surveillance system
  • Structural repairs and renovations to walls, showers, restrooms, cells, etc.

“At the center of the request for the GRT increase was the safety of all those who enter the facility or live in the surrounding community,” said County Manager Dianne Maes. “The Commission saw that and really felt strongly that, though we don’t know how the detention center got into its current condition, it’s important to work together to get it fixed, install new safety features and make sure the facility is maintained.”

It’s estimated that the full renovation will cost between $5.1 and $5.4 million dollars. With the approval of the ordinances at the meeting last night, construction could begin as early as this summer. The detention center will remain operational during the construction, but will shift staff, inmates, and services around to accommodate for the renovation project.

“We still have lots of work ahead of us,” Armendariz said. “But we thank the commission and the people of Sandoval County who are helping us to fix the facility.”