We understand constables and other police officers are inconvenienced by delays at York County Prison's crowded admissions area.

Prisoner processing is slow at the single entrance, and law enforcement vehicles often back up outside the area waiting to drop off their passengers, according to officials.

As with any other inconvenience, the county can either accept the situation or find a solution.

Unfortunately, fixes to other problems don't often carry a price tag in the range of $6 million.

That's how much county engineer John Klinedinst estimates it would cost to build an addition to the prison to serve as a new admission center. The county would have to request bids to know what contractors would actually charge for the work.

It sounds like this is a very real problem at the prison, which opened in 1979 with 238 inmates but now has nearly 2,400.

Even U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which pays to house prisoners in York, has requested a more efficient means of admitting inmates.

Perhaps ICE wants to cough up an extra $6 million (or possibly more); otherwise the feds are just going to have to wait until the people of York County can afford the project.

Now probably isn't that time.

As the county wraps up a nearly $7 million prison work release housing project, other projects are already vying for funding.

Among those are a $5 million to $10 million project to finish the fifth floor of the York County Judicial Center and proposals to address lack of space in York County Archives.


Yet the county has only about $8 million remaining in a $20 million bond it was issued to fund building improvements.

Go to taxpayers for the difference?

Good luck. They're already staring at an 8.9 percent county tax increase next year.

We're glad to see county commissioners seem to understand they can't afford to fix every problem at once.

As president of the prison board, Commissioner Doug Hoke joined the unanimous vote to request bids on a new prison admissions area, but he questioned whether now is the time to take the project on.

He and fellow commissioners Chris Reilly and Steve Chronister will have the final say, and at least one of them is echoing Hoke's concerns.

"I know (the admission center) is a dire need, but I need to think through the time frame a little more," Reilly said.

Putting the project out to bid might be a good way for the commissioners to simply get a look at some real numbers.

But unless those bids come back significantly lower than expected, don't be surprised if the inconvenience remains at the prison a bit longer.