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Kingman County residents to begin voting on $11.8 million jail

  • Hutchinson News
  • Published Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at 6:04 a.m.

Advance walk-in voting for a proposed $11.8 million jail ballot in Kingman County starts Tuesday in the county clerk’s office in the courthouse in Kingman.

Kingman County seeks a sales tax increase to replace a 13-bed jail with a 32-bed facility. The law enforcement center would be located at the same site, six blocks east of the Kingman County Courthouse.

Law enforcement for the county and city of Kingman, along with the 911 dispatch center and county emergency operations would be at the center.

The ballot question is lengthy, proposing:

• A new 0.25 percent county sales tax for a law enforcement center and jail facility, to be levied beginning July 1, 2014, and ending June 30, 2034;

• A 0.75 percent sales tax for the law enforcement center and jail, to commence Jan. 1, 2021, and to sunset Dec. 31, 2040.

In 2010, Kingman County voters approved a 0.75 percent county sales tax for road and bridge purposes. That sales tax will expire in 2021. The jail ballot would extend that tax in 2021 and use the revenue generated at that point for the jail and law enforcement center.

There is one yes-or-no choice on the ballot.

Kingman County Sheriff Randy Hill said talks about the proposed jail have been given in Kingman, Cunningham, Norwich and Zenda. Tours of the current law enforcement center and jail have drawn “a large selection of community members,” he said.

Hill said people ask if the new building will cost $11. 8 million and they are curious about the fate of the existing jail and law enforcement offices by the courthouse.

Construction costs are closer to $9 million, Hill said.

“Soft costs” that include site preparation, furnishings, and radios are included in the $11.8 million figure, Hill said.

The Kingman County Commission has not determined how the old site would be used if the proposal passes, Hill said. Options mentioned include using it for a public storm shelter, document storage or county offices.

Early walk-in voting ends at noon Oct. 28. Polls will be open in Kingman County from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, Oct. 29.

To obtain an advance ballot by mail, call the clerk’s office, 620-532-2521. Residents also can find an application on the county’s website, kingmancoks.com.

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