Friday, May 8, 2009

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part XXIII): Bonds issued to finance new jail

The April 23, 2009 issue of my hometown weekly newspaper, The Newton County Times, reports that the county is going ahead with a bond issue to finance construction of a new jail and law enforcement center. The necessity for this jail has been the topic of numerous posts, for example here, here, and here. The urgency associated with the jail project has increased in recent months as the State of Arkansas condemned the existing century-old structure.

Voters in November approved a 1/2 cent sales tax increase for the construction of the jail, but they did not approve a companion increase for the cost of maintaining the facility. Nevertheless, the Newton County Quorum Court has adopted a resolution authorizing the issues of $1.5 million in capital improvement bonds to finance all or part of the construction costs. The sales tax to re-pay the bonds, with interest, went into effect on May 1, 2009. Initially, the county envisaged raising $2.7 million to construct the jail, and the reports cites "state law and the current economy are factors" as reasons for the reduction.

In unrelated news, a glossy 4-color insert in this week's paper promotes Arkansas tourism. The prior two issues of the paper have featured an insert (also 4-color but on newsprint) promoting tourism in Newton County.

No comments: