The Madison County Board will vote on a proposal next week to spend $18 million in county funds to update the Madison County Jail. The County Board Finance and Government Operations Committee approved the measure on Wednesday and it will go before the full board next Wednesday during the regular meeting in Edwardsville. As a result, the tax rates of residents could be impacted.
The jail, which was constructed in the early 1980's, was originally designed for 50 inmates, but with several expansions, now houses up to 300. New heating and cooling systems are needed, along with water lines and a sprinkler system and general repairs to the entire building inside and out. The bond issue is about $5 million less than a proposal that was floated last month before the board when the issue was tabled for further discussion. The bonds for construction would be paid for through property tax levies but county officials are not yet sure how much the tax rates of county residents would be impacted. Previously, opponents of the spending plan had suggested a vote by county residents to approve the spending, but bond issue supporters say a public vote could delay the upgrades leading to a more expensive project.