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County commissioners deny jail siting appeals

YAKIMA - Building permits have been obtained and the county is moving forward with its plan to build the new Yakima County Justice Center on land near the Central Washington State Fairgrounds, according to Jake Jundt, jail project manager.

Permits were obtained after Yakima County commissioners made the decision to deny appeals by Yakima residents Albert DeAtley and Wendy Hollingsworth, who both feel siting the jail at the fairgrounds is not a compatible use of the land.

Commissioners made their decision on the two appeals this morning (Friday) at 8 a.m. at the Yakima County Courthouse.

Jundt said the decision means the county is ready to move forward on the project.

"We're getting ready to start the project," Jundt said, noting that actual work on the site could begin as early as next week.

DeAtley said this afternoon that the commissioners' decision did not come as a surprise.

"We totally anticipated it," he said.

DeAtley said he plans on taking his appeal of the jail siting to Yakima County Superior Court.

"We knew we didn't have a level playing field until we got to court," he said.

Friday afternoon Wayne Bjur of Bjur and Associates, who represented Hollingsworth in the appeal, said he hadn't heard word from his client as to what the next step in the appeal process would be. Hollingsworth could not be reached for comment.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at eolmstead@eaglenewspapers.com

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