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Early voting begins Saturday on proposed sales tax to finance new Lafourche Parish jail

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THIBODEAUX, Louisiana — Early voting will begin Saturday on a proposal that would add a sales tax for the construction of a $30 million jail in Lafourche Parish.

Registered voters have a week to cast their ballots in advance of the May 3 election on a 0.2 percent, 30-year sales tax to build a 600-bed detention center.

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre tells The Courier (http://bit.ly/1qOjm7F0 the existing jail is dangerous for not only the inmates but the correctional officers who work there.

The existing jail, built in 1968 and expanded in 1977, is in poor condition and suffers from chronic overcrowding. One consultant said it is in the worst condition of any jail he's seen, and Webre has called it the least efficient design he's ever seen.

The existing jail, built in 1968 and expanded in 1977, is in poor condition and suffers from chronic overcrowding. One consultant said it is in the worst condition of any jail he's seen, and Webre has called it the least efficient design he's ever seen.

Using a committee of staff members, the Sheriff's Office received input from James Rowenhurst, who worked with the jail committee in 2009, and compared that with a fall recommendation from jail consultant Mike Leblanc.

Rowenhurst proposed a 900-bed, $50 million jail in 2009, while Leblanc proposed a 540-bed, $20 million jail last year.


Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

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