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Coryell County Jail remains as is, majority vote against funding

Coryell County Jail
Posted at 8:28 AM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-02 09:29:02-04

CORYELL COUNTY, TEXAS — It was a debated and controversial topic on Coryell County since the idea of a $30.9 million bond was brought to the table.

"I just don't feel like it's the right time to be building a new jail," Joby Mooney, a Coryell County resident expressed.

While others disagreed.

"Honestly, the jail should have been built after the bond was passed in 2011," William Abel, another resident said.

But after Saturday's election, the funding for a new correctional facility will remain just that, an idea.

A vote many residents believed was the right move.

"There's just a lot of factors involved in this thing that... I just don't feel like they've explored all the options," Mooney said when thinking about the approval process. "I don't believe that a vote against the jail as a vote against law enforcement."

However, others were holding onto hope, even after seeing low voter turnout during the early election cycle.

"When their taxes go up because the current jail gets shut down, they're gonna have a huge sticker shock when they see how much it's going to cost when we can't help any inmates in the county," Abel explained.

The bond was the hot ticket item on the county's ballot.

According to the unofficial election results, 2,782 voters out of the county's 40,022 registered voters came out to vote.

743 or 26.85% of those voted to approve the bond, while 2,024 voters or 73.15% did not.

But what's next? Abel, who was for the facility, said residents will be out of luck for a while.

"We gotta wait three years before it can be brought back up for discussion again," he explained. "Within three years, that jail gets shut down? We're pretty much screwed.”

While Mooney believes the issues the county is facing is multifaceted and can't be answered with building a new facility and raising property taxes.

"There’s not one single answer to the whole problem... I don’t think," he said.

Both men agree they want what's best for their hometowns and say working together to find a common answer is at the top of their priority lists.