Washington County commissioners have placed on the Nov. 4 ballot a $13.1 million bond issue and an increase in the county sales tax of 0.5% to finance a $18.7 million jail.

The Bartlesville City Council earlier approved a rezoning for a proposed jail site, but adjacent property owners have threatened legal action to halt the plan.

The existing jail in the county courthouse basement is old and outdated, officials said. Only 53 prisoners can be held despite its stated 79-inmate capacity after the State Health Department said the county could be fined up to $10,000 a day because of capacity violations at the jail.

The proposed new jail would have 184 beds but could be expanded to accommodate a total of 416. Operational costs are expected to be $2.7 million a year.

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