YAKIMA, WA -  Yakima County Commissioners announce plans to open the new county jail next spring.   The official date is March 1st, 2007. 

The jail will open to half capacity, that's 140 inmates.  Most will come over from King County, but some inmates will be from the Restitution Center in Union Gap -- which will close down.  County Commissioner Mike Leita says the decision to open the jail has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed by King County.

"The lawsuit has no relation to us opening the facility," says Leita, "It's always been Yakima County's intent to open the facility. King County has known that. I guess maybe they've initiated they're claim because they feel it should've, could've been open sooner."

Leita says they still have to fix some problems with the heating and air systems in the facility. He also says for the jail to cover expenses and pay off the debt to build it, They need 240 inmates, or 83% capacity.  

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