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Jail Proposals

A new jail for Smith County may come with a big price tag.

Today Sheriff JB Smith made a presentation to the Commissioners Court for a new jail. The proposal was originally to be given by the late Don Pinkerton.

The report includes several proposals put forth by various private firms, and one option made by the county commissioners. Options would provide anywhere from 800 to 1500 new beds in the jail.

Designs would cost anywhere from 38 to 60 million dollars and could mean an increase in the county's property tax rate.

But Sheriff Smith says a new jail will save the county more money in the long run.

"We're sending over a million dollars a year now to Bowie County to house our prisoners. That's money out of this community, it doesn't do us any good to have that money gone from here, we need to keep all our dollars, real money in Smith County," says Sheriff Smith.

County Commissioners feel they need to hear more about the proposals before making a commitment. They plan on speaking with more consultants about the jail issue to make sure they pick the right plan and how to finance it. Right now a bond is a possible option.

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