Douglas County Sheriff’s Office offering jail tours, presentations in advance of spring referendum

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is offering presentations and tours of the jail in advance of this spring’s referendum asking voters to authorize a half-cent sales tax to fund a $44 million jail expansion and a behavioral health campus.

The 90-minute presentations and tours are available to Douglas County residents at least 18 years of age, said Sgt. Kristen Channel, of the sheriff’s office. The tours will be at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Saturday until April 28.

To schedule a spot, residents should email Channel at no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday for the Saturday they plan to attend. Emails should include the time and date of the presentation/tour the applicant wants to attend as well as the applicant’s name, address and phone number.

The referendum will consist of mail ballots to be sent April 25 to registered county voters. Voters will be asked to approve a half-cent sales tax, which will generate an estimated $9.8 million annually to fund construction of the $44 million jail expansion and an $11 million behavioral health campus. It will also provide $5.1 million a year for new behavioral health programming and $1 million of the $6.1 million needed per year to operate an expanded jail. The ballots will be counted May 15.