Stanislaus plans to close aging Honor Farm

Grand jury suit is also on supervisors' agenda

gstapley@mobee.comDecember 5, 2011 

Stanislaus County will close its aging Honor Farm in Grayson in two or three years, according to plans for rebuilding two fire-destroyed barracks at the county's main detention center eight miles away.

Insurance is expected to cover the $12 million cost for three new housing units holding 192 inmates at the Public Safety Center west of Ceres, replacing barracks that burned in June 2010.

A construction contract could be awarded in about a year, a report says.

County supervisors are expected to approve the design today. A master plan and needs analysis is scheduled for supervisors' review next week.

Today's meeting of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors starts at 9 a.m. in the basement chamber at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto.

Other items on today's agenda include:

• Spending $10,000 to defend the civil grand jury from a lawsuit. Parties are not named in a report to supervisors, but Patterson Councilwoman Annette Smith's lawsuit against the grand jury is no secret.

The grand jury earlier this year said she should lose her seat, and she said she hopes to overhaul the grand jury system with the lawsuit, filed in September.

• Continuing to reduce Auditor-controller Lauren Klein's salary by 15 percent, at her request, and allowing her to waive a $4,800 yearly car allowance.

Klein requested the lower pay before taking office a year ago, to save her department money as the county struggles with multimillion-dollar deficits.

The gesture saves her department $27,236 per year, lowering her pay from $149,573 to $122,337.

Sheriff Adam Christianson also voluntarily gives back 10 percent of his $181,500 pay to his department.

• Adopting an updated Capital Improvement Plan showing a wish list of 150 projects costing $1.3 billion over 20 years.

• Approving a $227,781 contract with Mountain-Valley Emergency Medical Services Agency, which regulates ambulance services.

The agency two years ago fell out of favor with supervisors, who threatened to terminate the contract. But a leadership change has "improved dialogue," a report says.

• Accepting an annual jail inspection report.

Public Health Officer John Walker lifted six months' probation in March, although the jails still haven't stabilized the health services administrator job.

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