Update: Smith County jail bond fails - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Update: Smith County jail bond fails

Update: With all precincts reporting, the Smith County Jail Expansion Bond election has failed with 39,103 (55%) votes against the bond and 32,335 (45%) votes for the bond.

Some Smith County officials are hoping the third time's the charm for the proposed Smith County jail bond.

KLTV 7's Layron Livingston was at the Smith County courthouse Tuesday afternoon, where folks on both sides of the issue will be watching as those results come in.

This is actually the fourth jail plan Smith County voters will have to decide on. Back in 2006, voters shot down both a $75 million remote jail, and an $83 million downtown jail proposal.

And just last year, voters said no again to a $125 million project. We spoke with Sheriff J.B. Smith this afternoon. He says the jail is a necessity the county can't avoid.

But opponents say voters have said no before, and this time around, they'll say no again.

"The economy is just awful. We don't even know what rock bottom is, so this is the worst time to be putting something on the ballot. The alternative programs are working. We're expanding them," said Ken W. Good.

"Whatever the voters want me to do, that's what I'll do. If they don't want a jail, then we'll keep shipping to the tune of $4 million a year to a another county. If they want to bring them home, we'll do that, too," said J.B. Smith.

I also spoke with Smith County Judge Joel Baker. He says this year's nearly $60 million plan may be a tough pill to swallow, but he's hopeful voters will see it's the best plan.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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