New jail plan costs $30 million
POSTED: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 7:44pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 10:45am
TYLER — Year after year, you hear the reports from us, overcrowding at the Smith County Jail costing millions. But every proposal smith county leaders have come up with doesn't cut it for voters.
This year's attempt at getting more jail space starts with one of the newest commissioners in the county. It's precinct one's Jeff Warr that's putting together the lowest cost plan taxpayers in smith county have seen in years. But as some see the effects of a recession, his plan's already getting a lot of scrutiny.
With a $30 million price tag, Warr says he's got the most basic plan in mind; about $90 million less than other plans voters have rejected. Warr says he knows, for voters, it's the price that has been the sticking point.
The plan he presented Thursday doesn't have a lot of the add-ons some of the other plans did. It buys some extra property, a new laundry and jail space that would prevent the county from busing inmates to other counties. A practice that's now costing the county millions.
"We know there's some areas that some people are not going to like. It's not everything that I would like or probation might like. But I think it's what we can afford and it's something that takes the taxpayers works around what their willing to give us," Warr said.
County Judge Joel Baker said he supports the plan but thinks putting it on the May ballot is too soon.