PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Edgar County residents voted to raise sales tax by 1% to help build a new jail.
The vote was a close 52.65% to 47.35%.
The Edgar County Jail closed at the end of 2019 after losing insurance coverage because of its conditions.
Inmates have been housed in other counties, which costs Edgar County a lot of money.
“We’re having to pay upwards of $40,000 to $45,000 a month, plus the transportation costs to and from and also to and from the court system,” county board chairman Jeff Voigt told WTWO/WAWV last month. “It’s costing us, you know, at this rate that we’re spending right now, upwards of $750,000 which is not in our budget.”
During a public meeting prior to the election, former Edgar County Sheriff Ed Motley said improvements to the jail were needed years ago.
The sales tax will also support other needs within the Edgar County Sheriff’s Office.
“That money would then be used, as it’s collected, to maintain the sheriff’s department to the level that the state requires. Plus it would look at solving our long-term facility issue with the jail,” Voigt said. “We’ve only got five road deputies to cover this county 24-7. We need to solve that problem.” .
Sales tax in Edgar County is currently 7.25% and the in the city of Paris it’s set at 7.75%.