Crawford County Leaders Discuss Marketing New Jail Proposal

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Crawford County Quorum Court members, law enforcement and concerned citizens met Monday night (April 7) for a brainstorming session on how to sell voters on the idea of new taxes to pay for a new county jail.

Specifically, the group begin to develop a plan to market a sales tax proposal for the new detention center. Voters will head to the polls to decide on the tax, which has been rejected at three prior elections, May 20.

Those plans include everything from yard signs to radio and billboard advertisements.

“I’m going to vote it down for the reason I just think taxes are high enough in the first place,” said Crawford County resident Don Puckett.

If voters approve the tax, a half-cent will go toward purchasing an eight-and-a-half-acre plot of land on Highway 64 just outside of the Van Buren city limits, for construction of the new jail. A quarter-cent will cover ongoing operations and maintenance of the new facility.

According to District 5 Justice of the Peace Cathy Gifford, the committee may not use county money to market the new jail plan, so it will be a grassroots effort including direct mailers and signs posted around town.

Gifford said she believes voters will be supportive of the tax once they are informed about the great need for the new facility.

“We have so many people who commit a crime and do not have to serve time,” said Gifford. “We’re all going to benefit. It’s all about law and order. It’s all about safety.”

5NEWS Reporter Katie Kormann spoke with county leaders before the meeting:



  • Bob Gnarly

    “We’re all going to benefit. It’s all about law and order. It’s all about safety.”:District 5 Justice of the Peace Cathy Gifford.

    The people who will benefit will be those who run the jail and need to keep it at maximum capacity to receive the most tax dollars.

    Its not “all about law and order”, its about using the legal system to get the maximum revenue.

    If your penal system was “all about safety” then we would prioritize logically when it comes to releasing convicted criminals and we would not see level 3 and 4 s*x offenders (deemed likely to re-offend) out on the streets.

    Its all about Money!

  • fed up

    Stop putting persons in jail who don’t pay child support or who owe restitution! Put them on house arrest and take them to and from a job
    so they can make some money to PAY the child support or restitution.

  • Happy, happy, happy

    Look around Crawford County. What do you see, lots of tax money wasted in the past. There always seems to be something else the money gets spent for even though it was sold to the voters as being for a specific purpose. Vote NO.

  • 4x4 Williams

    10 years ago they tried this, and for 10 years, they have wanted a new jail and have not yet saved one red cent to pay for it. I was hoping Judge Hall would prove to be a more purdent leader than 4×4 Williams. Typical Democrats “Need new thing, must have new tax”

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