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Small Tax Increase on the Way for Dubois County to Support Jail Improvements

Dubois County (NNDC):

Monday evening, the Dubois County Council unanimously passed an ordinance that will issue a new income tax to help offset the costs for expanding the Dubois County Security Center.

The tax will be about a 0.2% increase on the current income tax  which is now 1% and all of the new contributions will be directly sent into the project.

Community leaders addressed the issue that our current system is over stressed and desperately needs upgrades.

The new tax will raise almost $2.5 M annually. The average family will see an annual increase a little more than a $100 per year.

Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide was one of two men who spoke during a public hearing before the ordinance passed and asked the council to consider all the other issues facing Jasper and Dubois County, including the Midstates Corridor as an example. He also remarked that funding is always an issue and to take great regard in where those funds are allocated.

The new tax will be suspended when the project’s debts are paid, or in 22 years. The new tax will start being withheld on Oct. 1, and the county will begin receiving it in 2020.

The cheaper of the two options is a $43.1 million addition including  remodeling the current security center; adding on a jail pod building that will increase the number of beds to between 244 to 270 or so and expanding the community corrections facility, adding surface parking as well as a building that would house the courts and a connector between the courts facility and the security center.

The second (and unlikely) option, would cost over $50 M which use the Old National site at 6th and Mill streets, including adding a building on the east side of the site for the jail beds and a parking garage on the west side. The Old National site would also be renovated and used for administrative offices, and the current community corrections facility could still be expanded.

Councilman Doug Uebelhor remarked before the vote that even with the tax in effect, he believes the county will need to continue to search for ways to supplement the project funding.

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