Bellingham will likely start 2016 without a jail contract

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — It appears Bellingham will be starting 2016 without a jail contract.

The Bellingham Herald reports the Whatcom County Council approved a six-month contract extension earlier this month, but the city of Bellingham is not ready to sign.

Bellingham does not like a key change the county made that would allow the sheriff to tell cities to move their inmates from the jail within hours if it becomes too overcrowded. The city wants to have more time to move its inmates when there's overcrowding.

The Whatcom County sheriff says he will continue to work with the city even if the there's no signed contract. The current jail agreement expires Dec. 31.

In November, voters rejected a sales tax measure that would have paid for a new jail.