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Yell Co. Voters to Decide on Sales Tax for New Jail

DANVILLE, AR -- Voters will decide Tuesday whether they want to add a penny increase to sales tax for a new Yell County Jail.
DANVILLE, AR -- Voters will decide Tuesday whether they want to add a penny increase to sales tax for a new Yell County Jail.

"We've been out of compliance for many years here in Yell County with our jails," Yell County Judge Mark Thone said.

A portion of the one cent increase to sales tax voted on Tuesday will go toward the construction of a new jail to be paid off over the next 16 years.

A quarter of that cent, according to Thone, will cover operation and maintenance costs, which will be an ongoing expense.

The current facilities were built before the state's jail standards were put in place, so the Dardanelle and Danville jails are not in compliance with those standards.

Over the last year, an inmate escaped from the Dardanelle facility and the one in Danville was put on probation for not being up to code.

Thone said both facilities are operating at capacity.

"Right now, the sheriff has the daunting task every morning of looking on the board and releasing someone who doesn't need to be released because he has a more devious offender to lock up," Thone said.

The new jail will cover both Danville and Dardanelle and will double their capacity.

Thone also said it will have the state-of-the-art amenities.

Early voting for the item has been going on a week now, but Thone expects the weather to bring out a lot of voters for the Tuesday election.
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