Push For New Tax To Continue Funding Logan County Jail

Wednesday, July 23rd 2014, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

A one cent sales tax in Logan County is about to expire, and there are concerns the county jail could suffer.

Now, the Sheriff hopes voters pass a new tax to keep the jail running.

It was back in 2005 when voters passed a 10-year sales tax proposition to fund the county's new detention center.

That tax expires in a year, and the county’s chief deputy says without it, the jail is in jeopardy.

Chief Deputy Richard Stephens took us through the Logan County Detention Center. It's a state of the art jail that's been maintained wholly though a one cent sales tax since it opened in 2007.

The facility is a far cry from a once crumbling old jail next door.

“There was clearly a need," said Stephens. "The public met that need, and we’re just asking the public to continue maintenance and operation of the jail.”

Chief Stephens says the county government has never allocated money to continue operating and maintaining the jail, which is why he says the approval of this new sales tax is crucial.

“We have a very large facility with a very high volume of people coming through,” Stephens said.

The jail operates on a $1.3 million dollar budget. Chief Stephens says that number hasn't budged since the new jail was built, and the hope is to keep it that way.

“It’s critical, because that $1.3 million dollar budget that we have to maintain to operate this facility is over a third of the whole budget for the county,” Stephens said.

Stephens says, if the new tax proposition fails, the county cannot absorb the cost.

“We’d have to cut services in lots of areas,” Stephens added.

A quarter cent of the same sales tax will also go to Logan County fire departments, another quarter cent toward improving and maintaining county roads.

Voters will decide August 26.