(KMOV) – The Madison County Board on Wednesday approved spending $18 million to renovate the county jail.
The vote was twenty for and seven against with one absention.
County Board Chair Alan Dunstan told News 4 he expects the bonds to be issued sometime around the first of the year with the planning and construction to take two to three years.
The first phase will involve new construction. Then as the new space is completed and prisioners are moved in work will move forward to renovate the old portions.
He also said the updates were needed because the jail is housing more inmates than it was built for.
“I think if we honestly put it up for referendum, there’s a good chance it would fail,” said Dunstan. “But when you’re an elected official, sometimes you have to make decisions that’s best for everyone. I would say all 29 board members believe the project has to be done.
There’s still a chance the project could go to voters in a referendum. For that to happen, 10 percent of Madison County voters would have to sign a petition.