Here we are again with a chance to vote in a one-half percent sales tax (not a property tax) for the new Law Enforcement Center.
This tax is so small that we will see very little change for our purchases. Example: A $36.56 dinner will have only an added 18 cents added tax — very unnoticeable.
This is only 50 cents for every $100 spent.
This tax does not apply to vehicles, farm vehicles, groceries, prescription and non-prescription medicines, medical devices and medical materials.
I went to an educational forum meeting Saturday and was surprised that more people were not there. They had a lot of information and speakers to answer all questions about the money needed to remodel the old Bureau County Republican building that the County Board purchased earlier this year. All this information is also on the following website: bureaucounty-il.org, and the County Facebook page: @bureaucountyil.
The old jail is costing us a lot of money each day to keep it up and to have to house prisoners elsewhere. Now it costs us $30 a day pus transportation costs to house a prisoner out of county. That comes out to over $100,000 a year for each prisoner. As of now we cannot house any female prisoners in our jail; they are all housed out of county.
All these extra expenses keep adding up. We need a new jail.
Also, this sales tax is for only 20 years or when the money borrowed to remodel is paid off, and with the lower bond rates now, we have a chance that this will be paid off at an earlier date if passed now.
If every one of you could tour the present jail, you would definitely see why a new jail is needed and needed badly. They have tours available. Just call Jail Superintendent Sgt. Dexter Hansen at 815-872-3091, ext. 635, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to schedule a tour.
Please, everyone, not only vote Nov. 6 but vote yes for the public safety tax for the new Law Enforcement Center. The new facility will house the Bureau County Jail, sheriff’s administrative offices, county coroner’s office, and the BuEComm — the 911 Emergency Communications Center.
Our current jail is 45 years old and in need of repairs and is outdated as far as not only the inmates’ safety but the safety of the correction officers working in that environment.