Special Meeting To Discuss Proposed New Jail

Posted on: 12:18 pm, January 29, 2014, by , updated on: 12:19pm, January 29, 2014

A special meeting is scheduled Wednesday evening (Jan. 29) for Crawford County leaders to discuss the ballot title for funding the proposed new jail as well as how they’ll pay for operation and maintenance of the facility.

A representative from a bonding company will also be in attendance to speak about the amount of interest to be added as well as a repayment timeline, said County Judge John Hall.

Hall said the details on the jail issue must be ironed out before the February quorum court meeting because the ballot must be approved at least 70 days before the special election in May.

Earlier this month, the quorum court approved asking voters to decide on a half cent sales tax – a quarter of which will go toward construction of the new jail and a quarter going toward operation and maintenance.

The Crawford County Detention Center has failed several state inspections due to overcrowding and insufficient staffing leading to its suspension.

Hall said the county has more than doubled in size since the jail was built approximately 25 years ago, and they need a larger facility.

“We have got to try to deal with this and try to do what we can to keep the public safe,” said Hall.  “That’s what it’s all about is public safety. If we have no way for the courts to punish these people, then they have no fear of the system.”

According to Hall, if voters approve the half cent sales tax, the rate will be about a quarter percent more than neighboring counties.

10 comments

  • Opinion says:

    Criminals have had no fear of the system for many many years. It does not matter, if a new jail is built because this statement will remain true. Vote “NO” . Check out the new vehicles being driven by county sheriff’s dept. and then decide, if the money is being wisely used. There is lots of waste of tax payers money already. Why is no construction ensuing on the new “City” offices that taxpayers approved funding. Why is the Rena Road project a joke? There will be no improvement of traffic flow when this is completed. Check out the other various ways money has been wasted in Crawford County. Vote “NO”

    • AGT C says:

      I agree with your statement on the Rena Road project.Those workers are the laziest people I have ever saw in my life.There is no reason that Rena Rd is still under construction.

  • e says:

    Rena Rd project is not County Money. City offices is not County money. Please know what you are voting for. Thank you

    • AGT C says:

      County tax or not it still affects the people of Van Buren and our taxes are higher than Fort Smith and we have way less stuff.

  • AGT C says:

    Yep the sheriffs are driving new SUV’s and want more money.County Roads are the worst roads around so what is all this tax money being spent on?We get stuck with tax after tax and they want more and more.How about a audit to see where all this money is going.I guess the politicians of Crawford need new personal cars or something cause they ain’t spending it on the county.Vote No stop the wasteing of county money!!!

  • VB Citizen says:

    The sheriff’s Department hasn’t had new vehicles in over 5 years. The old durangos and crown victorias they were driving all have well over 200k on them. They were and still are (because they continue to work with what they have) falling apart. They also only received a few of these new vehicles. The areas they have to go are rough on cars and they have to drive lots of miles to get to certain places. You see so many of them because they are so understaffed that the same officer is out all the time. This is not a “conspiracy” the government is not “out to get you.” Jailers will be force to leave when the current jail is shut down. No one is housing or imprisoning people on minor drug charges anymore. The laws for possession of marijuana have changed to become more giving. Meanwhile the jail can house violent offenders because of space nor will they house any violent offenders when its shut down. READ A BOOK

    • AGT C says:

      Do not tell me to read a book.I could care less about your rant I am still voting NO and I hope every county citizen does the same.Crawford County and especially Van Buren are getting the short end of the stick.It’s not the tax payers fault that Prison’s will not pick up their people.If you wanna talk playing on laptops well you might wanna look around Van Buren.What’s bad is they are gonna do the same thing to us next year and year after year as long as tax payers approve these taxes.I am not dumb like you think.I have lived here for 30 years I know how it works.A little for the county, a little for me, a little for the county, a little for my brother so on so forth.In 2008 here in Van Buren we had to decide between new police station,water park and new fire dept.In 1012 we had the very same issues except water park.We passed the tax for the new police station in 2008 and in 2012.My question is what did Van Buren spend the money on in 2008?

  • VB Citizen says:

    Furthermore, if you want to complain about law enforcement, complain about the highway police. They are going to all boost their salaries by at least, at least, 15k a piece this year on top of the 45k they already make a year. How are they doing this you ask? By working overtime on the I40 project. This is probably grant money that is paying for that but where do you think that money comes from? State and Federal taxes. That is great except they sit on the other side of the divide where they couldn’t do anything if they wanted, play on the their laptops, and let their car run burning gas for hours. Meanwhile people are stopping in the middle of the interstate (which is a ticket-able offense) letting cars go and causing accidents. Now for those to jump to conclusion ya people shouldn’t follow to closely but use a rear view before you jam on your breaks.

  • VB Citizen says:

    and in finishing it should be a county wide absorbed tax. ALL law enforcement agencies that operate in crawford county house their prisoners in that jail. Yes VB included. When an officer from anywhere in crawford county makes an arrest the arrestee goes to that jail. This means violent criminals are walking the streets of vb, alma, cedarville, mulberry, mountainburg, where ever else because they don’t have a special jail they send their people to until time for prison.

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