Final Decision Made on Smith County Jail Proposal -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News


Final Decision Made on Smith County Jail Proposal

The ballot language is done, and now the future of the new Smith County Justice Center is in the voter's hands.

Final approval of the proposal came in just shy of today's deadline to get it on the November ballot, but it will cost at least $10 million more than originally thought.

However, commissioners and local officials say they've come up with the best possible package to take care of the county's over-crowded jail.

"They're building for the future which is what I wanted to begin with," said Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith.  "They're going to go ahead and shell out additional floors which is something that I have insisted upon since the very beginning, that they prepare for the future."

But some officials think there is little more work to be done.

"This price tag does not include moving the sheriff's department, and adult probation out of that building. And I made it very clear today that I wanted the voters to know exactly what the budget was going to cost so that they could approve it," said Joann Fleming, Smith County Commissioner.

The new jail itself is expected to cost about $99 million. 

In addition to that, $8 million will go towards shelling out spaces and setting them aside to expand the jail if the need arises.

And almost $3 million would go toward the demolition of the old Carlton Hotel to make room for the new facility.

The big question now is, how many tax dollars will this cost Smith County residents? 

Officials expect to have those numbers available by early next week.

Layron Livingston, KLTV 7 News.


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