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Voters reject service district for new Jackson County Jail

With initial results coming in from the 2020 primary election, voters appear to have voiced their opinion on a proposed Jackson County correctional facility service district.

Posted: May 19, 2020 8:22 PM
Updated: May 20, 2020 3:34 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — With initial results coming in from the 2020 primary election, voters appear to have voiced their opinion on a proposed Jackson County correctional facility service district.

More than 70 percent of voters said "No" to the jail service district with more than 53,000 votes tallied. A little less than 30 percent voted in favor.

Results are not yet final and could change somewhat as more votes are tallied.

The proposed service district represents an attempt to secure funding for a new Jackson County Jail facility at a rate of $0.8719 per $1,000 in assessed property value for homeowners. Sheriff Nathan Sickler has spearheaded the effort for funding a new jail, primarily due to ongoing overcrowding and resulting forced releases at the existing jail.

The current jail was built in 1981, when the population of Jackson county was 134,546. Now it's believed to be upwards of 217,000.

All of the cities in Jackson County voted in favor of joining the jail service district, with the exception of Talent. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved the jail service district in January, followed by several public hearings on the topic.

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