The Reno County Sheriff posted a warning for people they arrest. Sheriff Randy Henderson posted on the department's Facebook page that the jail is full. He wrote if you get arrested Tuesday, you'll be sleeping on the concrete floor with a blanket.
The jail is full because of the recent snowstorms. Reno County currently houses inmates in other counties like Chase and Butler County. But since the weather has been so bad, the transport unit couldn't get out to the other counties.
Saturday night, the Reno County jail was up to 76 inmates. The maximum capacity is 81. When numbers get that high, officials say they don't have any room to move inmates around for things like disciplinary measures.
Captain Larry Dyer says this can create a lot of stress in the jail. "Currently we have a number on inmates that are in the jail because of an attempted homicide case that occurred in Hutchinson last week. We have to keep those inmates separated from one another and it really becomes problematic when we don't have the extra room to move people around," he said.
The Reno County Sheriff's Department has been pushing for a new jail. Voters decide in April whether to accept a half percent increase in the county sales tax to pay for construction of a new jail.
Below is the ballot:
- Shall the following be adopted? Shall Reno County, Kansas, be authorized to (i) impose a one-half percent (.50%) retailers' sales tax (the "Sales Tax") for the purpose of paying all costs necessary to (a) construct, equip and furnish a new jail facility in the County, and (b) renovate the existing jail and annex facilities to allow for additional police and sheriff’s department space and for use by other County departments, and make security entrance improvements to the courthouse (collectively, the "Jail Improvements"), with collection of such Sales Tax to commence on October 1, 2013, or as soon thereafter as legally permissible, and to sunset and expire upon the payment of all costs incurred in the financing of such Jail Improvements (including the retirement of any bonds issued and payable from such Sales Tax); and (ii) issue sales tax general obligation bonds (the "Bonds") in an amount not to exceed $28,900,000, provided that the County receive, prior to such issuance, a comprehensive feasibility study that indicates the revenues received from such Sales Tax will be sufficient to retire such Bonds without the necessity of levying any ad valorem taxation, all pursuant to K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., as amended?
In short, a "yes" vote means you approve of the tax increase, a "no" vote means you do not.