Crawford County residents approved a sales tax increase to fund a new jail Tuesday. Officials said a new jail is needed due to overcrowding problems at the Crawford County Detention Center.
The approved sales tax increase is for three quarters of a cent sales tax increase.
A half cent will go towards the construction and a quarter of a cent will go towards facility operations.
Officials said the tax will start this October.
Mavis Nigh lives where the jail will be built.
“I’m going to get gone,” Nigh said. “Probably going to leave, I don’t see much choice.”
Diane Shrum lives next to the future jail. She is excited to see it come to town and is a former employee of the Crawford County Detention Center.
“We had probably 100 to 125 people there,” Shrum said. “At times there would be so many beds on the floor of the female cell we couldn’t even roll a cart in to feed them.”
4,279 voted for the construction funding while 3,981 voted against.
4,199 voted for the maintenance funding while 3,974voted against.
The new jail will house 300 inmates on U.S. 64 just outside of Van Buren.
Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said they hope to break ground by early 2015.