After deliberating for more than an hour Monday night (Jan. 20) the Crawford County Quorum court approved a sales tax vote to fund a new jail.
“What we decided on tonight was that they were going to ask the public for a quarter of a cent for construction of a jail, and a quarter of a cent for operations and maintenance,” Crawford County Judge John Hall Said.
The jail has been written up multiple times and was put on probation by the state for violations such as overcrowding. The new jail’s price tag comes in at around $20 million.
“It will take about 22 years to pay the bond issue off,” Hall said.
A sales tax vote has been shot down multiple times. Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said the jail currently can hold around 80 inmates, and a new jail is needed.
“It is a long process,” Hall said. “You’re talking about a major project that is going to require a lot of thought.”
Shawn Harding, an architect from Kansas attended the meeting. He said he is interested in the project.
“It’s simply a project that has got a lot of interest in this whole region,” he said.
Hall said with the current jail being near downtown and the railroad, presents a problem. Hall said they are looking for the communities help not only on passing the tax but finding a place to put the jail.
Hall said the property needs to be at least five acres or more.
The public will hit the polls to decide on this issue the second Tuesday in May of 2014.