Early Voting Takes Off For Crawford County Jail

A new jail facility is up for vote in Crawford County for the fourth time. Officials are hopeful voters will approve a sales tax for the planned jail, despite locals rejecting similar measures three times before.

“We`ve put out yard signs,” said Justice of the Peace Cathy Gifford. “We are going to do a mass campaign this weekend to put out signs and a direct mail piece.”

The vote is for a $20 million dollar jail on Highway 64 just outside of Van Buren. Before the jail can become a reality, though, voters must approve a three-quarters-of-a-cent sales tax increase.

Early voting began Monday, and Election Day is set for May 20.

“It’s a matter of law and order,” Gifford said.

The jail has failed several state inspections because of overcrowding and insufficient staffing. Crawford County Prosecutor Marc McCune has been active on Facebook, telling followers about inmates who have had to be released because of overcrowding.

“If somebody does the crime they need to do the time,” Gifford said.

Some in Crawford County said they are not going to vote for the measure, saying they do not need more taxes.

“Against it,” said Eric Sanders.

Sanders is a Crawford County voter and tax payer.

“Outrageous. You got taxes on top of it,” Sanders said. “You got taxes on food, taxes on everything. Why would you want more taxes?”

But early voter James Orr said the idea of criminals out on the streets is concerning.

“I voted for the tax,” Orr said.

12 comments

  • H

    Wow! Channel 5 showing true colors on who they interview on who is voting. They haven’t said anything about IRS scandal,Benghazi scandal, or raised question why so many jails being built not just here but everywhere?Hmmmmmm? Is 5 news a news station or a propaganda tool?

    • H

      You need to walk around your county,besides the original jail tax was supposed to be used in case the jail needed to be added to.Well guess what? Tax was passed and jail was built without accommodations to be added to,but they didn’t reduce tax!! So if you want to take chance and believe officials again then do it!! But i will not.Cattle follow other cattle—–So moooove on down and vote.

  • Kevin

    jmf I bet we can live with a few tax evaders and people behind on child support walking the streets

  • Kevin

    jmf believe it or not there are other options besides always raising taxes and spending money. U.S soldiers live in tents in Afghanistan so why do criminals deserve a 2 million dollar jail?

    • H

      Very good point Kevin.Maybe they need to manage their own budget a lil better.Tax tax tax easiest answer.Lol

  • JD

    People, think with your brain. There are laws against putting criminals in tents, as much as that would make me happy too. If you want criminals to live in tents then make that a law first. Offenders living in tents has nothing to do with how the taxes are managed. I will VOTE YES on the tax because a few pennies out of my pocket to keep the harmful people off the streets is worth it to me. Call me cattle or whatever name you want. But I am thinking for myself. Name calling gets you nowhere and diminishes your credibility. I am smart enough to NOT follow the opinion of someone who stoops to childish name calling. And people think about this…..who do you think will pay for most of the taxes anyway…..the people who are traveling along I40 stopping at restaurants and gas stations. It’s not going to break anyone’s bank account to vote yes for this tax.

    • H

      People traveling along i40 WOW!!!!! thank goodness people listen to people like you,,,,,,,,So glad you confirmed i will not be paying any more taxes even though i am a resident of CC????????? MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • H

      And JD i guess YOU think that the citizens of Crawford County get their gas from other counties????????????????? Or families who are barely getting by—–Like most i know,do not go to local taco bells or Mcd’s for low price items??????? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kevin

      JD what law states this? Where can I look it up and confirm it since you have obviously read it. You are right JD a few pennies won’t hurt but this tax will never go away then they will need a new police station, then new police cars, then a new road, more more more……then next thing you know we are paying 50 cents for every dollar we spend. I challenge you JD to find one just one sales tax that went away.

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