Kern County jails did not apply for slice of $500 million; 'It's the right thing to do'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County officials did not even apply for $80 million in state funding for jails.

They say it was the right thing to do.

The county says if they had received the money to replace the aging minimum facility at Lerdo it would have cost them $20 million a year.

READ | California county jails to get $500 million to upgrade programs:

County officials say the money came with strings attached that would have forced them to build immediately and staff immediately.

Instead the county will pay to replace the aging minimum facility with its own money.

County officials say that gives them more local control over the project and will allow them to slow down or stop construction if the county starts having financial problems.

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