Pasadena : Hearings on Jail Planned

The Board of City Directors has decided to hold public hearings on whether to erect a new jail and police building or renovate the old one. The question of what to do with Pasadena’s 56-year-old jail has plagued city directors for the past two years.

In 1984, Pasadena voters turned down a ballot initiative that would have raised money for a new structure through a citywide assessment district. Since then, the issue has been on the back burner while city officials waited for the recommendation of a citizens committee studying Pasadena’s fiscal problems. After nine months of study, the committee has recommended that a new facility be financed through a bond issue.

In a separate study, an architectural firm hired by the city has determined that a new building would be cheaper than renovating the old one. According to H. Wendell Mounce & Associates of Glendale, a new building would cost $14.6 million. Repairing the existing structure, which city officials say is rapidly deteriorating and is unsafe for both inmates and police, would cost $16.2 million. At a special meeting of the board on Tuesday, city directors decided to schedule public hearings on the matter. The dates for the meetings have not been announced.