OSCEOLA COUNTY — The Osceola County Jail will begin to take a new shape, as construction begins on Monday, April 13, on the structure's expansion project.

During an Osceola County Commission meeting on April 7, Undersheriff Justin Halladay addressed the commissioners regarding the project, which will create about 1,000 square feet of new space and 500 square feet of renovated space. The renovation is the first in 50 years.

The expansion has a projected cost of $275,000, and will give the department a new lobby, conference area and the ability to use the basement for storage rather than deputy work areas. It also will increase security for the front offices, create a modern, user-friendly space in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and include public restrooms and a new service window.

Construction will last through about the third week of July, Halladay said, unless it's completed earlier. During those months, residents will be able to use a temporary entrance on the west side of the building.

In other business, commissioners rejected a motion to support the state's Proposal 1, which will be on the May 5 ballot. The Michigan Sales Tax Increase for Transportation Amendment, named Proposal 1, is a referendum to increase the state’s sales tax for the purpose of raising money for roads, schools and municipal governments. If the proposal passes, the state’s sales tax will increase from 6 to 7 percent, the second-highest in the nation, behind California, and will eliminate all sales and use taxes on gasoline.

Commissioner Roger Elkins brought the motion to the table, asking fellow commissioners to support the proposal, which he believes will be beneficial to the county and its municipalities. He said not only will the proposal rebuild Michigan's roads and bridges, it will support Michigan's public schools and local communities in the long run.

During discussion on the topic, commissioners discussed their opinions on Proposal 1 and what they believe the state will accomplish if it passes in May. Some commissioners were both supportive and skeptical, while others were opposed to the proposal, stating they believe it is "misleading" and are uncomfortable the state does not have a "Plan B." All commissioners agreed they wish the proposal was simplified.

They said no matter how they voted on the resolution, they are unsure how they will vote at the polls and want the residents in their districts to make their own decision on the matter.

The motion for the commissioners to support Proposal 1 was reject with a 4-3 vote, with commissioners Jill Halladay, Alan Tiedt, Mark Gregory and Pam Wayne in opposition.