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Elected leaders work to solve Geiger closure

Just days after announcing the expected closing of Geiger Corrections Center, city and county leaders issued a joint news release today vowing to work together to solve the expected impacts on the county’s jail system.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that it would close Geiger after an earlier decision by city officials to send inmates to Benton County, which saves the city’s budget about $600,000.

As a result, the county will close Geiger, which employs about 80 people who supervise about 195 nonviolent inmates.

Today, Mayor David Condon and County Commissioner Todd Mielke both said in a news release that they intend to work together to find solutions.

“If this work is successful, the citizens of both the City and the County will be better off,” Condon said in the release. “We want to take advantage of cost savings to house our prisoners but we also want to limit the financial impacts to the County.”

The city could house misdemeanor inmates for as low as $56 per day compared to the $130 a day charged by Spokane County to house them in the former military housing facility built in 1959 which has had a series of escapes that sparked safety concerns.

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.