Ledesma: Band-aid fix of jail costly

With the elections fast approaching in November, both Joe Disalvo and Michael Buglione make valid points about the current state of the Pitkin County Jail. And, a good point that both of these individuals make is that the jail is not safe for inmates and deputies in its current state.

Buglione believes that “the current jail can be ­remodeled to accommodate the small population safely.” In theory, his approach sounds like it can save taxpayers money. However, this is far from the truth. The fact is that the average lifespan of a jail building is only 30 years.

The current jail was built in 1984, making it 38 years old. Buglione proposes a costly band-aid fix that will need to be addressed in a few years. This will end up costing the taxpayers more money in the long run.

The jail will need extensive remodeling that will cost millions and take years to complete just to have inmates housed in an outdated, unsafe building that will need to be replaced anyway. At the moment, we cannot even accommodate our present needs.

Aspen sees over 1.5 million visitors per year. This is the equivalent of San Diego’s population making a trip to Aspen every year. This trend is set to continue growing. The choice is evident when looking at current needs and our future ones. 

Ricardo Ledesma