Santa Barbara County is continuing to move ahead with its badly needed new jail complex.
County Supervisors yesterday approved more than eight million dollars in spending to hire some key contractors for the project, including an architect, engineers, and a construction manager.
The 376 bed facility in Santa Maria is expected to end decades of jail overcrowding.
State grants will pay for about 90% of the 96 million dollar project. However, the county is still wrangling with how it will fund the estimated 17 million dollar a year operating cost of the new facility, which could be ready for use in 2018.