A half cent sales tax Logan County voters approved to build a new county jail in 2016 has generated more than $2 million.
Another $2 million plus, from a second half cent tax approved at the same time has been collected to maintain and equip the jail.
The taxes went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017 but because it was March before the county was remitted funds for the tax — January collections are turned over to the Department of Finance and Administration in February then remitted by the state treasurer in March.
That cut the intake for the tax down to 10 months for 2017 and saw the county take in $902,509.17, or an average of just over $90,250 per month.
In 2018 the total was $1,152,174.56 or an average of just over $96,000 per month. That is an average increase of 6.4 percent per month.
In September of last year the county issued $2.1 million in bonds for the 100-bed jail project, bringing the total of bonds issued for the project to $12.1 million. Armed with voter approval, the first $10 million in bonds were issued in November of 2016.
With 71 percent in favor, in July of 2016 county voters approved issuing up to as much as $13 million.
However, the first plans for the jail resulted in bids of $13.8 million — more than was approved — but those plans called for 132 beds and voters were told in a campaign for the tax the jail would be 100 beds.
That resulted in a second set of plans being created and approved, at an estimated $10.9 million, with construction starting on county owned property on South Lowder in Paris in December of 2017.
Logan County Judge Ray Gack said recently he expects the project to be completed in the first half, likely the spring, of this year.
Besides serving as a detention center for prisoners, the new jail will also include offices for the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and a courtroom, which should greatly curtail the need to transport prisoners to the Logan County Courthouses in Booneville and Paris.
Once open, the new jail will replace the current Logan County Detention Center in Paris. That facility was built in the 1980s and has been cited numerous times for being in violation of jail standards.
The one percent sales tax, half of which is for construction and is repealed when the cost of the project has been satisfied, pushed the non-grocery tax rate in Booneville to 10.5 percent, with 6.5 percent collected by the state and two percent collected by both the city and county.