PASCO, Wash.-- The City of West Richland just signed a contract with the Franklin County Jail to house inmates for them if the Benton County jail cannot.
At the Franklin County jail, construction is underway to expand the overcrowded facility and make room for more inmates to come.
That expansion is generating interest from surrounding cities and agencies to sign contracts allowing their inmates to move in.
It's an agreement Franklin County has with almost every surrounding city.
"It's good to be good neighbors and have something lined out so if something should ever in the future come up and we do have ample beds and they need beds, it's just a good way to do business," said Rick Miller, Franklin County Commissioner.
It's a business contract that outlines fees to house an inmate and the cities pick up the whole tab.
Miller said it's just one of the many ways the Tri-Cities is working together across agencies.
"As we grow we need to become more efficient and interlocal agreements will provide that," Miller said.
These contracts are not just efficient, they can also be a money maker.
"If they were someone that would meet our criteria to book we could book them and charge them for it," said Capt. Richard Long, Franklin County Corrections Division.
Currently the jail is at nearly double their capacity, but the expansion will give them new options.
"We're going to have bed space to rent. In doing that we're open to folks to come in or other agencies to come in here and house their prisoners with us for a daily rate," Long said.
Until construction is complete, Long said they won't be taking any inmates from outside the county unless it's for a short term hold.
But when the new building opens, the expanded jail could be provide a new source of revenue.
"It's good business. It's good for this county if we can make money," Long said.
The Franklin County Jail also has interlocal agreements with all three of the Tri-Cities and surrounding cities like Connell.
Construction on the jail will be completed next spring.