Kootenai County Jail opens doors on $12M expansion

Just like the population, the Kootenai County jail is expanding.

Monday, the sheriff’s office opened the doors to the nearly $12 million project.

The new jail adds over 120 beds and helps alleviate the overcrowding the jail has faced for years.

Kootenai County has had to ship their inmates to other counties in Washington and Idaho.

But, with the expansion, they’ll be able to get their inmates back.

”It's hard to visit someone if they are in Yakima or Lewiston so I think this will be a big benefit in the big picture,” Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said.

“And this will also be an economic savings and safety factor and the liability for the county which really reduces the liability for the taxpayer."

According to the sheriff’s office, the project was completed $600,000 below their budget, which helps save taxpayers money.