By Linda Sutter – January 13, 2023
Facility C is expected to deactivate this winter at Pelican Bay State Prison. The reasons why doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out. The Prison was built on a swamp and has endless repairs that are too costly. Transportation of Inmates from one institution to PBSP, or from PBSP to another institution are costly and the Medical cost to transport inmates to hospitals in Eureka, Medford, and other places. Costly!
Problem is, what will be the long term prognosis of Pelican Bay and how will that affect this area.
Let’s start with Real Estate.
If the prison is completely shut down, staff will be forced to move to other areas of the state and of course leaving their homes up for sale. The sales will bust. Property prices will go down due to excessive houses on the market.
Think blight is bad now? People already go to Brookings, Oregon to shop and buy gas. The folks who work at the prison are probably the only ones supporting the local grocery stores, such as Safeway.
But there is a positive side. Currently, the average wage earner in Del Norte County is $24,000 annually, which does not justify why City and County Department heads are making nearly $200,000.00 per year. Why would the city and county pay such outlandish wages when the median wage is $24,000? Hopefully that would cease if the Prison finally closes their doors.
The other up swing from an empty prison is maybe the County could move their jail to house their inmates in a closed PBSP. After all, according to a document submitted to the Board of Supervisors in September 2022, 15,507 people were jailed in Del Norte County Jail in 2020.