Jeff Davis holds meeting to discuss new jail, half-cent tax - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jeff Davis holds meeting to discuss new jail, half-cent sales tax

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

It's a staggering number: some 200 felony suspects could not be jailed in Jeff Davis parish last year, because the jail is too small.

The parish has the money to build a new one, but tax payers will still need to pay up, and that was the topic of a public meeting Monday night.

Residents packed the meeting as parish officials explained why they should vote "yes" on a half-cent sales tax to maintain and operate the new facility.

The jail committee chairman Ronnie Petree gave this evening's presentation to break down how the parish would not have to pay to purchase the land or build the new Jeff Davis jail because of 10 million in funds that was given to the parish from the state last year.

Petree did say that to maintain and operate the facility, a half-cent sales tax lasting ten years on all items purchased in the parish would be necessary.

Petree said that overall, he was pleased with the turn out of meeting.

"It was a real good meeting. We had some very good questions. A lot of participation and a lot of things that people had been concerned about," said Petree. "I feel that there's been a lot of information out there that doesn't totally line up, and of course until people are informed, they'll form their own opinion and hopefully we answered it all correct this evening."

"If not ... we'll be looking to get them (answers). Anybody that wants to call or get in touch, we'll answer anything we can for them," said Petree.

The space at the current Jeff Davis jail is 65 beds, and the proposed facility would have 200 beds: 160 beds for male inmates, 20 for female inmates and 20 isolation cells.

The current jail would not be completely abandoned. Some of the third floor prison cells would be used as holding cells on the day of prisoner's trials. 

The location of the new jail has not yet been determined, but the parish is looking for property that's between 10-20 acres, so that the option of expanding in the future is a possibility.

The half-cent sales tax will come up to be voted on by the people of Jeff Davis Parish on the May 3 election ballot.

If you would like more information on the new jail and the half-cent sales tax, call 337-368-4630 or email Jdpjailmay3@gmail.com or info@jdpso.org.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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