Budget issues could close county jail

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PARIS Ill. (WCIA) — Edgar County officials are looking into financial solutions to keep the jail open in their community.

Board president Jeff Voigt said portions of the jail need to be updated, and the county doesn’t have the funds readily available to spend on the renovations.

Voigt noted closing the jail is an option, but both the board and the sheriff’s department would like to keep it open.

“The sheriff and one of our board members have started talking to other counties to find out what’s possible where, what kind of room they have and what kind of costs,” Said Voigt. “We’re out there collecting those now.”

Sheriff Jeff Wood proposed a new sales tax for the county to raise enough money for the jail that would allow them to keep at least a portion open.

Wood said one part of the jail is over a century old, while the other half is only a couple of decades.

He said if a tax was implemented on the community they could make the needed updates and not have to transport inmates to other counties.

Edgar county business owner Matt Jackson said, “A small increase on sales tax would be a possibility. I don’t really think that would solve the issue 100%.”

Jackson said although he doesn’t want another tax on the county, he wants the jail to stay, so he is open to the idea.

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