Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Clay County Approves Wheel Tax Increase For New Jail

The Clay County Commission has approved a funding mechanism for the future jail facility.

Mayor Dale Reagan said a $50 wheel tax increase will take effect after a 30 day public review period.

“Right now, we’re in a holding pattern for the public review. So after 30 days we start the process of collecting that with the county clerk,” Reagan said. “We’re moving forward. It’s by a turtle pace sometimes, but this is something that’s been in the works and talked about for 30 years. The commission has decided that we’re going to have to start acting on it. I commend them for what they’re doing.”

The increase will take the county’s wheel tax to $75. Reagan said the extra revenue will help fund the facility’s $1.3 million operational cost.

“It’s going to be a 100 bed facility, so some of those beds are going to be used to help offset some of the costs, as far as state inmates,” Reagan said. “That’s the only way I feel like this can work. We’ve got have that additional revenue in order to do this. If we don’t use the inmate increase to help us offset that, it’s going to be very difficult for us to meet that. Talking to our sheriff and everyone else, we think that will work.”

Architects for the project will now move forward with the original design for the building. Reagan said that process could take about eight or nine months to complete.

“Then, it will go into the bid process. That can take up to three or four months to get that done,” Reagan said. “After that, we’ll get ready to go into construction, which will take up to 12 to 18 months.”

Clay County has secured a $7.5 million USDA loan for constructing the new jail. The proposed site is along Highway 53 across from Buford Drive.