McClain County voters said an overwhelming no to a new Public Safety Complex Tuesday with nearly 80 percent of the votes cast against the bond issue.

Of the approximately 23,000 registered voters in McClain County 3,061 voted Tuesday.

Unofficial results from McClain County Election Board Secretary Karen Haley show the final count was 2,412 against the bond issue or 78.80 percent to 649 (21.20 percent) in favor of the safety complex that included a jail, offices for the sheriff’s department, emergency management and a 911 call center.

The proposition failed in all 26 boxes in the county.

District No. 2 County Commissioner and chairman of the board Wilson Lyles said, “We will respect the people’s wishes.

“They spoke Tuesday. We will continue to keep our thinking caps on and do the best we can for McClain County.

“We will try to put another game plan together and in the meantime outsource our inmates to other counties,” Lyles said. “That will continue to eat into the sheriff’s budget and the county’s budget.”

On the day of the election McClain County had 130 inmates with a jail that has a licensed capacity of  53.

Lyles said 26 of the McClain County inmates were housed in Grady County with another four in Cleveland County. There were 100 in the McClain County jail.

The cost to outsource those inmates is over $1,000 a day.

“It’s a tough deal,” Lyles concluded.

Voters in Lexington joined the rest of Cleveland County in passing a 1/8 cent sales tax to replace the existing 1/4 cent sales tax that comes off in March of 2020.

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