Taxes going up in Anderson County to fund new jail

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Chronic overcrowding at the Anderson County Jail reaching a breaking point. Conditions are so bad, some inmates are forced to sleep on the floor.

"It's gotten to the point now where we have to do something," said Anderson County Mayor Myron Iwanski. The mayor says if the county doesn't intervene now, there could be dire consequences like de-certification of the aging lockup. "Which would mean we could be shutdown or have some addtional costs in shipping inmates somewhere else."

Even worse, the feds could step in. "Federal courts could take this issue up and force a solution that could be much more costly if we did it on our own," said Iwanski.

It'll cost $2.2 million dollars to add more jail space. A price tag the county plans to pass to people like Tammy Elliott in the form of a $30 tag fee.

"Oh, I don't think that's right. We shouldn't have to pay for a jail expansion. It's not our fault we have so many criminals," said Elliott.

Said the mayor, "to deal with it is going to cost some money, and we don't have any other way to pay for it other than through a tax increase."

Another less favorable option, raising property taxes by $37 a year. But there's one option no one can afford, doing nothing.

"If we don't deal with it very quickly our situation is going to get much worse," said Iwanski.

"Well they're going to stick it to us someway. They always do," Elliott said.

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