Last Tuesday marked the first day Logan County could begin spending money from a $10 million bond issue to build a new jail.
Stephens Inc., a little Rock-based investment business, sold $10 million in bonds on Monday, Oct. 17 with the proceeds dedicated to finance construction and operation of a new, 100-bed Logan County Jail.
“The bonding company and all that gets paid right off the top,” Logan County Judge Ray Gack said last week. “And you’ve got the architects and stuff we’ve previously done — people who did the ground work, we’ve got to get them paid.”
As to when construction will begin Gack said, “they told me March or April is when you might actually see ground being broken for the new jail.”
A voter approved one percent sales tax increase backs the bonds. The county can issue up to $13 million in bonds through the sales tax question passed with 70 percent favor in July, but only $10 million has been sold. Gack previously stated the remaining $3 million would be held in reserve.
Besides the site and paperwork necessary for the bonds, the project requires engineering and blueprints before the construction manager can begin the process of building the jail, which is expected to take about a year.
The jail will be built on county-owned property on Lowder Road in Paris, near the Logan County equipment yard.
The existing Logan County Detentions Center was built in the 1980s, and has been cited by regulators as overcrowded, understaffed and unsafe.