March 4, 2015 Edition

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Jail Committee to make
recommendation Monday

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Quorum Court will meet Monday at 7 p.m. to hear the jail committee's final recommendation on the architecture firm it believes the county should use to collect hard data on three possible sites.

The data would then be used to determine which site the county should use and the costs associated with the job. After this process is complete, the information will then be presented to the people of the county, who will have to vote on a sales tax to fund the new jail.

The committee held meetings with three different firms over the past two weeks. The firms chosen to present their plans were narrowed down from 10 the committee communicated with.

Committee Chair Lloyd Clark said there are many things to consider when selecting a firm and site. Cost, flexibility, population, site utilities, seismic zone and other factors all play a role.

While the committee will present their recommendation, it is up to the vote of the court to decide what firm will be hired. Once a firm is hired, it will look into locating a new jail at the former Black Rock School campus, the old Higginbotham Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge or 6.2 acres of open land owned by the county in Walnut Ridge

The current jail is operating under a six-month extension granted by the Arkansas Jail Standards Committee in September. Clark said that though they are reaching the end of the extension, he believes the jail will be allowed to stay open as long as the county is working toward building a permanent replacement.

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