Voters decline sales tax increase for funding of a new Pueblo County jail

Interior of the Pueblo County Jail Sept. 3, 2019.
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PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE (11/6): Voters again said no to funding a new jail building in Pueblo County.

The measure had already been voted down in 2017 and 2015.

11 News spoke to the warden prior to the 2017 election who compared the jail to an overcrowded egg carton.

"Right now we use the old cliche: We take 18 eggs and jam that into a 12-egg carton."

Sheriff Kirk Taylor says the current conditions are no better than two years ago and pose a safety concern for his employees and the inmates.

Opponents to the issue, which called for a sales tax increase to fund a new building, have argued the county should focus on fixing the size of the population and not the building.

Read more on Issue 1A below:

PREVIOUS: Tuesday, voters will decide to approve or deny an initiative that calls for a sales tax increase to help for a new jail building in Pueblo County.

The initiative on the ballot calls for a .39 of a cent sales tax increase. That means for every $100 spent, 39 cents will go toward a new jail. The current Pueblo County jail was built in 1980. Sheriff Kirk Taylor says the facility is the most overcrowded jail in the state.

“It’s come to the point it’s time for a new building,” Taylor said. “It’s not cost-effective to continue to put Band-Aids on this building, and the overcrowding we experience creates safety concerns for my deputies and the inmates.”

The jail is designed to house about 509 inmates, according to the sheriff's office. The average daily population is about 726 inmates.