Smith County Judge Denies Reports - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/22/07-Tyler

Smith County Judge Denies Reports

Smith County Judge Joel Baker wanted to make it clear that the county is looking into all of its options regarding the proposed Smith County Jail bond. Especially when the new jail project means certain county offices would have to find a new home.

"This plan clearly does not address the certain departments that are housed in the old Carlton Hotel," said Smith County Judge Joel Baker.  "Everybody knows that. We've discussed it. We've been open about that."

Judge Baker went on to say that he and Smith County Commissioners want to be good stewards of county tax dollars.

He also stressed that divulging confidential information from executive sessions not only hurts the bargaining position of the county, but taxpayers as well.  

Yesterday commissioners finalized a proposal to place a $109-million jail bond on the November ballot.

But that price tag doesn't take into account everything involved with the project; more specifically, where certain county offices will be located.

More money would be needed to relocate the sheriff's department, adult probation, and fire marshall's offices.

All of that would cost an estimated ten million dollars more.

Layron Livingston, KLTV 7 News. llivingston@kltv.com

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