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Press release: Group appealing federal detention center expansion

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm with No Comments »
November 28, 2008 12:00 pm

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee says they are filing an appeal to halt expansion of the federal immigration facility on the Tacoma Tideflats. The group is concerned plans for the new construction at the Northwest Detention Center didn’t have enough citizen input.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee – Tacoma has filed an appeal with the City of Tacoma concerning the proposed expansion of the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) at 1623 East “J” Street on the Tacoma Tarpits EPA SuperFund Site. The expansion of the NWDC will provide housing for 575 detained citizens from other countries, expand the total bed-space to 1575, and provide 104,000 square feet of floor space.

The appeal is currently the last act in a failing attempt to provide input to the approval process.

“The City has pretty much taken every effort to exclude citizen input from the expansion approval process” said Tim Smith, chairperson of the committee. “At this point and time we can only appeal the determination of non-significance issued by the City of Tacoma on Nov 14. We have 14 days but as today is a city holiday, Monday Dec 1st is the last day to submit and appeal.”

More after the jump.

The appeal and supporting documents will be filed later today electronically, by facsimile, and then delivered Monday to the City Clerk’s office. “We don’t want to take any chances with this bunch. No excuses for not receiving the appeal in a timely manner or improper format. We’ll send it by carrier pigeon if that is what it would take.”

Person’s wishing to witness the hardcopy submission should go to the City Clerk’s office on Monday, 1 Dec 2008 before 0900.

This action comes as part of an overall campaign to halt the expansion. Following consultation this week with a variety of subject matter experts in labor, environmental, government contracting and local development law the decision was made to pursue this appeal as part of the overall strategy.

Smith states: “This is a public safety issue and always has been. The City of Tacoma, as the lead agency for this proposal must insure that development protects not only the persons living and working in the building, but also doesn’t create a safety hazard. The poor staff work associated with this proposal creates a liability for the taxpayer that could be avoided or mitigated with good information and factual supporting documents. We will show in our appeal what these errors and omissions are and we are asking the City to stop any further action until this more accurate information is included and considered.”


The Bill of Rights Defense Committee – Tacoma formed on Dec 15 2003

and focuses on issues concerning civil liberties and open government.

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