Steven Gardner writes:

A little joke turned into a full blown rumor, it appears. I just found out how the jail story may have started.

First the backstory. When I wrote the story about the local reaction to ISC’s decision to bail on Kitsap, I ran into Dee Coppola in the Fred Meyer in Port Orchard. She asked what economic development the county has allowed South Kitsap to have, other than the jail.

My first thought she was talking about the one already built in Port Orchard, but then you guys started writing about a rumor that the Department of Corrections was interested in the site the Overtons would have sold to ISC. So I called DOC.

The department is not looking at any property in Kitsap County at this time.

Apparently, this rumor started when someone, I don’t know who, made up a pretty convincing press release from the Department of Corrections, dated April 1, saying DOC was pursuing a site in SKIA. It was a joke, an April Fool’s joke. The word got out and was taken seriously.

You also started writing about Toyota, and since Josh Brown used the company as a hypothetical example in talking about tax breaks,

He said if Toyota wanted to build a plant on the site near the Bremerton National Airport for the speedway, “Would we make Toyota pay $7.5 to $15 million in back timber taxes? I don’t think we would.”

I thought I’d check on that rumor as well. Chances are, that’s where the rumor originated.

Still checking. I’m not expecting to get anything verified, since most land deals are discussed in private long before they’re revealed.

As for Toyota, the company just opened a truck plant in San Antonio late last year and has other plants in other U.S. cities and in Mexico. There’s no mention anywhere that I’ve looked that the company is looking for more.

And I’m aware that this seems highly unlikely, but as a reporter I’ll tell you I’d hate to miss it if it were true.

10 thoughts on “No Jail — UPDATED

  1. You mean “Austin” was not telling the truth when he claimed to be providing a quote from some unnamed source that said the Department of Corrections had made such an announcement? I’m shocked!

  2. Jacob, you still aren’t using that great invention called the “MAP” I brought to your attention last month. The Women’s Correction Facility is located in Purdy, which is in PIERCE COUNTY. So “WE”, meaning Kitsap “do not HAVE it”.

  3. I wonder if anyone realizes that if other Fortune 500 companies were planning to relocate here, they were watching what was happening with ISC. Now that ISC has backed because if all the problems it had with the legislature, do you think other companies are going to want to go through the same headace?

  4. Thanks for researching the Toyota bit. I actually read it somewhere before (I think it was the Sun), but it was not tied to the March story quoting Josh Brown. Actually, I think it was quoted in a story last year. Just curious if this was just a rumor or maybe Kitsap County was pinged by them last year and it was leaked…thanks again for your comments.

  5. Give me a break Bob. Don’t take yourself so seriously – we surely don’t.

    I received the prison notice from a State Rep. I would be willing to bet that unless a jail goes on that site, Kitsap County government is so backwards it will never be developed. The Commission is selling this “pipe dream” of SKIA, but has ZERO money to get it done. They zoned this land for development and can’t even provide basic servies to the site for a reasonable cost. That is an unarguable fact!

    There are few, if any, other companies willing to come in and dump over $160 million into SKIA. Unfortunately, the Port is really struggling to figure out what to do next since their only hope of real development for SKIA went away….thanks to several closed minded individuals.

    You, Jacob, Mary, Tim Botkin and others can talk all you want about how great SEED is, however if it gets off the ground many will be shocked. The prison may not be coming, but neither is anything else.

  6. Why on earth would Toyota want to locate to a blue state run by Democrats. They would be taxed to death and eventually run out of town just like Boeing was.

  7. I know, we gave Boeing a big tax break to stay. We have to struggle to even keep Boeing in Washington. Of course we have to do more to attract new business otherwise we are just going to struggle to keep the ones that we have.

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