JENNINGS, La. (AP) — Jefferson Davis Parish voters will vote on a proposed sales tax increase to fund the maintenance and operation of a new parish jail.

The American Press reports the police jury voted Wednesday to put the 10-year, half-cent sales tax on the May 3 ballot. If approved, it would raise about $2.1 million to be used to run the jail, including costs to feed inmates and provide medical care.

Police Jury President Donald Woods says the sales tax increase would take effect July 1. He says passage of the tax is vital to the future of the parish jail.

The current jail, built in 1964, can house only 62 inmates and has major issues with an outdated sewer system, inadequate lighting and a lack of proper security measures.