The city of Maple Valley has narrowed its court and jail options to negotiating a new contract with Kent.
The city’s current contracts, both with Kent, expire at the end of 2014. The city considered other options, including returning to an agreement with Enumclaw, or utilizing SCORE or Issaquah’s services.
“It’s very important to us as a city that both services are close by,” City Manager David Johnson said. “Basically we don’t want to take an officer off our streets to transport…. we don’t want to do that if at all possible.”
That effectively ruled out SCORE, and Johnston said that Enumclaw determined that Maple Valley’s needs were too much for that city’s infrastructure and Issaquah was ruled out, Johnston said, because of public transportation accessibility concerns.
“For our needs and the needs of our citizens who have to go before the court…we all feel that our best option is negotiating an agreement again with Kent,” Johnston said.
Johnston said that a presentation on the subject will be made before the city council at the Sept. 22 meeting.
“Right now what we’re entertaining is a three year agreement with an option to extend,” Johnston said. “That gives us a lot of flexibility. Again we’ve got a couple options we need to iron out with Kent and we’re confident they’ll be ironed out before we present at the 22nd council meeting.”
Johnston said the issues to be ironed out are more administrative things like reimbursements.
For jails, Maple Valley currently pays Kent for two guaranteed spots for prisoners at the Kent Corrections Facility at a rate of $220 per day. In addition, Maple Valley pays $135 per additional inmate per calendar day.
For courts, Maple Valley currently pays $14,583 per month for two court days, one overflow court day and one jury day per month. In any month where the number of cases filed is in excess of 333, the city pays an additional $4,000. Additionally, the city receives a quarterly invoice for other costs such as summons and interpreter fees.
In the first three quarters of 2013, Maple Valley paid for 478 additional beds at a cost of $64,530.
When asked if the city was considering negotiating for additional daily beds that the city pays for, Johnston said, “No, right now we have two beds, we’re looking at staying at two beds on a daily basis.”
Johnston said that the city’s costs have gone up do to an increase of inmates on electronic monitoring.
“We’ve not really tracked that, we just know it because we see the increase of the electronic monitoring charge on our monthly invoices,” Johnston said. “And that’s what we found out when we worked with the court administrator and the jail administrator.”
Things like number of beds and services can be negotiated, Johnston said.
“All that stuff gets to be on the negotiating table and you get to work it out the best for both sides,” Johnston said.
As for courts, Johnston said that the possibility of the city creating its own court would be several years away at best, and that if the city was able to build a city hall in the future that it could become shared space that also housed court facilities and services.