Voters reject Hunt County jail bond proposal
The $74 million bond would have funded a replacement for the existing structure, which is beset with unsolvable structural problems.
The fate of the troubled Hunt County Detention Center remains uncertain following the defeat of a bond proposal that would have funded a new building to house the county’s jail and sheriff’s office.
In the Nov. 2 general election, voters rejected the $75 million bond proposal by a margin of 136 votes, according to unofficial totals available Wednesday morning. The Greenville Herald-Banner reported 2,722 votes against the measure, with 2,586 votes supporting the bond. The 5,308 votes represent about 8.9 percent of Hunt County’s 59,367 registered voters, according to 2020 numbers.
Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall told the Hunt County Economic Development Alliance in August that the current building, constructed in 2003, is so bad as to be unsalvageable, the Herald Banner reported. Stovall cited collapsing walls, broken or semi-operative sewage and plumbing systems, inoperative doors, and other unfixable problems with the building.
Lawsuits against various contractors from the original project netted the county about $6 million, which was used for makeshift repairs on the facility, Stovall said. Should the measure fail, Stovall said in October, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office would likely incur large costs transporting prisoners to other facilities.
The measure did not specify a site for a new facility, although county officials said it would not be downtown, near the county courthouse and the existing jail at 2801 Stuart Street.