The Crawford County Jail Committee will meet today (Sept. 16) to discuss the possibility of building a new jail and how they plan to fund it. County Judge John Hall says the detention center faces a number of ongoing problems.
“The Crawford County Jail has had an overcrowding problem for a long time,” said Judge Hall. “The state has come in and I think they’ve inspected it three different times, and they declared it was not acceptable.”
According to Hall, the only way to meet the state’s standards is to build a new jail. The committee must consider its options, one of which is to pass a sales tax to fund the construction of a new jail facility.
“My proposal has been and is to do a $20 million bond issue which would cost one cent sales tax for five years, half-cent for ten or quarter-cent for 20,” said Hall.
Hall said the money will build a 264-bed jail which will prevent authorities from having to release offenders early as a result of overcrowding or having to pay other jail facilities for housing their prisoners.
If the Quorum Court does not support the proposal to build a new jail, Hall said the decision will be tabled until 2015. Hall said a proposed sales tax to fund a new jail has been defeated three times before.
Once a decision has been made, the committee will share the plan with the Quorum Court. Pending the court’s approval, an election will occur by March of 2014.