County judge rallies support for tax extension

County judge rallies support for tax extension
Officials held public meetings to explain the plan behind extending an existing county hospital tax. (Source: KAIT-TV)

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A local courthouse infamous for flooding could get a major overhaul soon, if a special vote passes.

It's a measure to extend an already existing county hospital tax in Mississippi County, that was originally supposed to sunset in March 2020.

If passed, revenue from the one-half percent tax would fund the county hospital and renovations to both the Blytheville and Osceola courthouses.

Mississippi County Judge John Nelson said about $2 million will be allocated for Osceola, but the majority of the funds will go toward the more dire Blytheville courthouse.

It's in need of a new roof, electrical, plumbing and updated security measures.

"Safety is one of the main issues we're trying to overcome right now," Nelson said. "Most everyone goes to the east door, so many times you've got families that have disagreements that come in that door."

Nelson said many times that ends in altercations and once even an evacuation of the courthouse.

So Judge Nelson is holding several public meetings to explain the plan and get community feedback.

He said most of the feedback he has gotten so far has been very positive.

The vote will be held on Feb. 12, with early voting beginning Feb. 5.

Copyright 2019 KAIT. All rights reserved.