$125 Million Price Tag For New Jail - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/27/2007-Smith Co.

$125 Million Price Tag For New Jail

Smith County Commissioners approve ballot language for the November jail bond election, which now totals $125,000,000 to accommodate offices that would be displaced by the new jail.

County Judge Joel Baker said he has come up with an 11th hour solution to that problem. Commissioners agreed to add the 15 million to the grand total to cover the new office building. They discussed two possible scenarios for the office building.

Commissioner Joann Fleming cast the only no vote saying the new material hadn't been sufficiently reviewed. 

"I don't have any drawings, I don't have any estimates. There are too many if's and unanswered questions for me to approve," Fleming said.

However Judge Baker says he could look any member of the community and, "I can say with all the confidence in the world that we are doing the right thing."

The court also got an earful from voters in court.

 "I was on the no no committee prior to this now I am a one man yes yes committee," said Pastor Benjamin Horne who supports the jail bond package. we need to move

Many way they will vote against the bond simply because of the $35,000 salary increase for the court. 

"I'll be voting against the jail bond issue simply because even if it weren't too high it's a vote of disapproval to the court," said Sharon Guthrie who will vote against the jail package,"The court's priority should be the jail bond and our roads and bridges."

Howvever Judge Baker says that would be a disservice to the entire community.

"If they want to poke holes in a project we desperately need then attack the merits of it. If they want to attack the merits of the project I understand that," said Judge Baker, "Everyone knows we need a jail we have to do this."

So now it will be up to you on November 6th.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

Powered by Frankly