Want more people locked up in Pulaski County? How about making a contribution?
Sheriff Doc Holladay
and County Treasurer Debra Buckner
announced a drive today to raise about $131,000 in private donations to combine with $856,000 the county has set aside to repair the old county jail
on Roosevelt Road, currently closed, to provide 160 more beds.
Staffing the jail will still be dependent on a tax increase to pay added personnel – at a cost of some $2.5 million annually -- but Buckner said demonstrating the ability to get the building ready might raise confidence in county officials’ ability to be disciplined stewards of public money. A UALR study of jail needs concluded that a thorough audit and a demonstration of discipline would be necessary before any sales tax increase should be put on the ballot. Buckner noted that the total county payroll is reduced this year. Good thing, because the county had operated for years in the red by spending up surpluses. Now the budget is supposed to be operating on a pay-as-you-go basis.
You can go to the treasurer’s website
to find the “First Step” contribution program. Contributions are tax deductible. Buckner and Holladay have both kicked in $131. If 1,000 people would do that, well, there you go.