VIDEO: Damaged Courthouse’s Future Uncertain After Failed Vote

Posted on: 11:15 pm, September 10, 2013, by , updated on: 11:37pm, September 11, 2013

Madison County officials are moving forward after voters rejected a proposed sales tax increase earlier this week. The money would have gone toward a new jail and courthouse. Now they are left waiting for a new solution.

Madison County voters rejected a one cent sales tax increase in a special election Tuesday night by a few percentage points.

County authorities had warned a rejection of the sales tax proposal could put an already-overcrowded jail in trouble.

Some voters told 5NEWS the day after the special election that they felt they were already paying too much in taxes.

The motion failed 52 percent against to 48 percent for, according to county vote totals. Results show 785 votes against the tax increase and 721 votes for.

Madison County Clerk Faron Ledbetter showed 5NEWS the dilapidated courthouse that would have been replaced (video seen above).

“A lot of our different offices on the upper floors are not handicap accessible at this time,” Ledbetter said.

Another part of the building, now used for storage, had to be roped off because of water damage.

Despite the decision by voters, Ledbetter and city officials remain optimistic about the future.

“I think, in the end, people had to make a hard decision. And I think that we respect their decision,” Ledbetter said. “I know they educated themselves and made the best decision they could.”

County officials will discuss the vote and how to move forward with the courthouse’s future at the next Madison County Quorum Court meeting, scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.