Results of election to fund jail certified

Saturday, November 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) _ Residents in unincorporated parts of Creek County proved to be the biggest proponents of a sales tax that would pay for construction of a new jail, officials said.

Election Board officials certified results from Tuesday's balloting, which showed only 19 votes separated those for and those against the proposition. Because the margin of victory was less than 1 percent, potential petitioners had until 5 p.m. Friday to contest the 2,532 to 2,513 outcome. No one did.

The proposition failed to carry the largest towns of the county, Sapulpa, Bristow and Drumright, voting records show. Residents in the unincorporated areas and the towns of Mannford, Oilton and Kiefer approved the measure, documents indicate.

County Commissioner Dana Hudgins was not pleased that only 5,045 of the 36,913 registered voters in the county went to the polls, but said he was pleased with the outcome.

``You would have liked for voters to have sent a clearer message,'' Hudgins said. ``But this is the message we will work with.''

One-third of the tax will go to build the jail, which has a targeted cost of $10 million. The rest will go to highway improvements and law enforcement.

Creek County officials are scheduled to meet next week with the jail's architect, Architects in Partnership of Norman, Hudgins said.

The jail will have enough space for 234 beds and can be expanded to accommodate 306, said AIP President Ben Graves. It also will feature a courtroom for arraignments and a judge's chambers, Graves said. The current jail has a maximum capacity of 121.

Officials hope the facility will be done in late 2003, Hudgins said.

In the meantime, the county will have to make do with their present facility, which has been cited for health code violations in recent years, including twice in the past four months.

County officials averted possible closure of the jail by reducing an overcapacity inmate population.