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New Garland County jail construction a go

Voters pass one cent sales tax to pay for construction and maintenance of new county jail.
HOT SPRINGS, AR - Garland County voters turned out to the polls, Tuesday, passing two items that will pay for a new county jail.

The "One Cent For Safety" tax is divied up among two categories.  5/8ths of the new one cent sales tax will go towards construction and be eliminated once the jail is built.  3/8ths goes to maintenance and operations for the jail and is permanent.  Voters had to pass both for the jail construction to move forward.

The new jail will cost about 42 million dollars.  Lt. James Martin with the Garland County Sheriff's Department says the county will start meeting with architects as early as November. 

Dirt work will start around the first of the year and official construction is slated to begin around fall of next year. 

Construction is estimated to take about three years. 

The new jail is designed to house as many as 476 inmates and will be built to be expanded enough to house 600.  The current jail is built for 88 people.  200 inmates stay in the jail now not including the 100 criminals who are released each week because the jail isn't large enough to fit everyone.

 Lt. Martin says voters at the county's 42 precincts approved the construction portion of the penny tax by 64% and the maintenance and operations portion by 58%.

The tax applies to everything that the state sales tax includes.  The new jail is expected to bring about 3,000 jobs to Garland County during construction.
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