Special election set
to fund new jail

September 9, 2015 Edition

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Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

A special election has been set for Nov. 10 to bring to voters two possible countywide sales taxes that will aid in funding the construction of and continuing the operation and maintenance of a new county jail.

The Lawrence County Quorum Court in two special sessions last week determined the sales tax amount and special election date.

Justices reviewed two options for the sales tax amount and selected a one-eighth-cent maintenance and operations sales tax and a three-eighths-cent sales tax to pay off the debt incurred by the construction. The total half-cent sales tax increase would be in effect for approximately 22 years. After construction costs are paid, the three-eighths-cent tax will be dropped and the one-eighth cent sales tax will continue to fund the maintenance and operations of the jail.

County Judge Dale Freeman said he is exploring every funding possibility for the jail in hopes to save the taxpayers.

The proposed 100-bed facility would be built at the West Elm and Sixth intersection in Walnut Ridge. It would include everything needed to run the jail, as well as office space for the sheriff's department. The jail is designed where it can be easily expanded in the future if the need occurs.

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