On November 6, 2018 Rockwall County voters will be asked to approve the issuing of $50.27 million in bonds to build a new addition and renovate the existing Law Enforcement and Detention facility.
Rockwall County has grown by 278% (71,396 people) since 1990 and is projected to grow by another 70.5% adding another 55,242 people by 2035. The Historic and projected population chart is below:
Source US Bureau of the Census & Texas Demographic Center
The current jail was built in 1988 with 49 beds, expanded in 1994 (48 beds), and in 2000 (146 beds) to its current total capacity of 243 beds. Texas Commission on Jail Standards recommends the jail’s maximum effective capacity is 212 beds, leaving room for new arrivals and keeping certain classes of prisoners separate. As Rockwall County’s population has grown since 2000, so has the population in the jail. This year, the jail’s Average Daily Population (ADP) has been 249 inmates.
“Final September 2018 Rockwall County Texas Criminal Justice System Assessment and Forecast Report” CHINN Planning Inc.
Due to limited cell capacity and the increased number of inmates the county transports inmates to other counties. The average number of inmates housed and transported out of county is 30+ per day at a cost of approximately $500,000 a year.
The original core support structures such as, intake, booking, medical, mental health, food services, and laundry were designed to support the original 49 bed unit. The support structure has not been re-sized to accommodate the subsequent additional beds. Current support functions are inadequate for current rated capacity, and will not support projected jail population growth.
As the jail has aged, maintenance and repairs have become increasingly costly. The original housing facility is 30 years old and beyond its useful life-span. The average annual maintenance costs have grown significantly, in addition to significant unplanned or pending repairs ranging from $240K to $500K.
By State law, every county must maintain a jail. Nearly every person arrested in Rockwall County is transported to the Rockwall County Jail. Along with County Sheriff’s Deputies, the following entities also bring inmates to the Rockwall County Jail:
- City of Rockwall
- City of Rowlett
- City of Royse City
- City of Heath
- City of Fate
- City of Wylie
- City of Dallas
- Rockwall County Constables
- U.S. Marshals Service
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife
- U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
- Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office (Investigations)
- Texas Attorney General’s Office
The expanded Law Enforcement and Detention Facility would have 400 beds, plus 20+ specialty beds for mental health and infirmary, and a design footprint that will accommodate future expansion to approximately 498 beds if needed.
Tax Impact information
Rockwall County allows for county property taxes on an individual homestead to be "frozen" at the age of 65. If you are 65 years of age or older and you have filed for the "Over 65 Homestead Exemption," there is a capped amount of taxes to be paid. The only exception would be improvements made to the property after the filing of the exemption. Please contact the Rockwall County Appraisal District if you have questions regarding the Over 65 Homestead Exemption. For a copy of the Homestead Exemption Form, please click here.
How will the bond affect my taxes?
The estimated tax impact to individual homeowners is 1.6 cents per $100 of property value. The tax impact for an average Rockwall County Home of $240,000 is $32.00 of additional tax per year. Another example: $250,000/100 = $2500 x .016 = $40.00 per year
Early voting locations
- Rockwall County Library
- Heath - City Hall
- Fate - City Hall
- Royse City, City Hall
- Rowlett - Cullins Lake Point Elementary
Early voting begins
- Monday, October 22nd through Friday, November 2nd.
For Early voting times use this link:
- Tuesday, Nov. 6th, 2018; 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
For more information on Rockwall County Elections, including Election Day Polling Places, visit: https://www.rockwallvotes.com/