Davis County commissioners have voted 2-1 to approve a $20.6 million budget for construction of a new jail.
Commissioner William "Dub" Lawrence cast the opposing vote, saying county residents had only approved $18.5 million in general obligation bonds for the project.However, fiscal analyst LaMar Holt told the commissioners Wednesday that besides the $18.5 million bonding plan, the county will take in about $2.1 million in interest from the bond money.
Estimated costs for the project to date are $19.3 million, with $15 million earmarked for a construction contract that may be awarded next month and the remaining $1.3 million as a cushion, Holt said.
Lawrence said he was concerned about keeping trust with the voters.
"Before we go into a commitment like that, we need to look at the ramifications it would have on our community," he said. "I believe the people of the county would like for us to hold the line."
He also suggested using the bond money interest to pay back the bonds to ease the public tax burden.
But Holt and project manager Joe Rhoads said decisions about the scope of the project and the use of the interest money were made by the commission before Lawrence took office in January.
Lawrence said he also was concerned that the jail budget lacks a contingency fund.
"The philosophical problem I have is committing everything up front," he said.
Holt suggested the county could easily take $800,000 of the unbudgeted surplus and earmark it as a contingency fund, with any remaining surplus going toward an early payoff of the bonds, Holt said.
Holt also said an informational brochure issued by the county prior to the 1987 bond election outlined tax increases that would be necessary for the jail project.