It didn’t take brokers at Stephens Inc., a little Rock-based investment business, long to sell $10 million in bonds on Monday, Oct. 17. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds will be used to finance construction and operation of a new, 100-bed Logan County Jail.
They had the entire issues sold by noon, according to Logan County Judge Ray Gack. That night, members of the Logan County Quorum Court held a special meeting in Paris and voted unanimously to accept the sale of the bonds, Gack said.
“I guess now we can start spending money,” Gack said last week.
Gack said that on Nov. 29, the sale of the bonds will be finalized and the county will receive the $10 million.
The bonds are being backed by a one percent increase in sales taxes countywide, which was approved by voters this summer. The county can issue up to $13 million in bonds, but only $10 million was issued and sold last week. Gack said the additional $3 million will be held in reserve.
Meanwhile, work has begun on county-owned property on Lowder Road in Paris, near the Logan County equipment yard, where the new jail will be built.
“They’re moving a lot of dirt,” Gack said. “They’re getting preliminary work done before we can start laying the concrete pad for the jail.”
Gack said engineers working on the project have met and their phase of the project should be completed by the first of December.
“After that, work will begin on drawing up blueprints for the jail,” Gack said. “That’ll take six months. They are hoping to get it done quicker than that. Once that’s done, the construction manager can start asking for bids. I think it’s going to be a minimum of 10 months before we can start building the jail.”
Gack said construction of the jail will take at least a year.
The existing facility, built in the 1980s, has been cited by regulators as overcrowded, understaffed and unsafe.