Jackson County finalizing plans to pay for jail expansion - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Jackson County finalizing plans to pay for jail expansion

Posted: Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman arrested after toddler found beaten, legs tied together

    Woman arrested after toddler found beaten, legs tied together

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:04 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:04:34 GMT
    A Gulfport woman was arrested Thursday after officers said they found her kneeling over a 1-year-old that was beaten and bruised. Elise Arlyn Balsley-Bryant, 24, is charged with Felony Child Abuse.
    A Gulfport woman was arrested Thursday after officers said they found her kneeling over a 1-year-old that had been beaten and bruised. Elise Arlyn Balsley-Bryant, 24, is charged with Felony Child Abuse.
  • Worker dies after falling off I-40 bridge

    Worker dies after falling off I-40 bridge

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:56:25 GMT
    (WMC) - Arkansas State Police say it appears a construction or repair worker has fallen off the I-40 bridge near West Memphis. The worker may be alive, and crews are working to get him or her out of the
    Arkansas State Police say a construction or repair worker fell off the Hernando DeSoto bridge on Interstate 40 near West Memphis on Friday.
  • Arkansas man catches 3 bears on game camera

    Arkansas man catches 3 bears on game camera

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-08-23 04:08:20 GMT
    One man getting ready for deer and turkey season in Arkansas stumbled upon something much larger.
    One man getting ready for deer and turkey season in Arkansas stumbled upon something much larger.

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Jackson County is finalizing its plans to resolve the longstanding problems plaguing the county detention center, but the jail's future will ultimately rest in the voters' hands.

The Jackson County Quorum Court decided last week to hold a special election in February. Voters will get to decide then how the county will pay to build and maintain a new jail.

Officials have spent the past few months working diligently to explore not only how to expand the current detention center but also how to pay for the cost of construction and upkeep.

"That's the only way we can take care of our overcrowding, is to build a bigger facility," said Jeff Phillips, the Jackson County judge.

Phillips says he measured progress recently when the justices of the peace approved the final design for the proposed jail expansion, which the public can view at the Jackson County Courthouse in Newport.

Sheriff David Lucas assisted an architect in crafting the floor plan, which would allow space for 100 beds and alleviate any concerns about overcrowding.

"The new building will take Jackson County into the future for about 50 years," Phillips said. "We're looking at 50 years that the citizens of Jackson County will not have to worry about their jail and overcrowding and the state coming in and shutting the jail down because of overcrowding."

The biggest issue left to address, however, is how to pay for all the upgrades.

The county's budget is tight, so the voters will decide the best financing option for the county to take.

What that will entail exactly will be specified at the next quorum court meeting in December, but Phillips says quick action is needed because bond rates have hit an all-time low and have created an ideal time to build.

The other pressing matter is the next review by the state jail committee, which has given the Jackson County Detention Center one last chance to fix its problems or face closure.

The next review will be in February, just before the special election is scheduled to be held.

"We can address those issues," Phillips said. "We can take care of those and make Jackson County a better place."

The quorum court is set to vote on an ordinance next month to set up the special election, which will likely be held on February 12.

Members will also proffer specifics at that time and let the public know what exactly will appear on the ballot.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow

472 Craighead Co. 766
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 931-8888

FCC Public File
publicfile@kait8.com
(870) 336-1816
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KAIT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.