Can we really afford a new jail?

To the editor: I know that I am speaking for myself here, but I think that most of Prineville would stand behind me on this one. The county has been pushing for a new jail in the past year and they haven’t been getting the response they wanted. Do they know why the people of Prineville voted down their Jail Bond? When Prineville needed a park the community jumped in and built one. When we needed a new library we raised the funds and had one built, but when we need a jail everyone says “no way”. Well, here is the catch. Most people in Prineville make $15 or less per hour. The average house size is 1500 sq.ft. Gas prices are rising, property taxes are rising, hotel taxes are rising, city is forcing people on to the city sewer at $8,000 a house, the mill just shut down, the classrooms are overcrowded. Where is the $3 million for the jail going to come from? My 1500 sq.ft. house can put a roof over five people’s heads and probably would cost about $70,000 to build. Why can’t the jail committee come up with a facility that would not surpass the living standards of 90 percent of its surrounding households? I hate to be rude, but get your heads out of the clouds and build a facility that is affordable and won’t take the remaining 45 percent of our paychecks. Heather Fraser Prineville