US Marshals officials searching for new path to fund Arkansas museum

    The U.S. Marshals Museum construction site in Fort Smith (Photo: U.S. Marshals Museum)

    Officials behind a proposed U.S. Marshals Museum say it could take more than a year to come up with the $15.3 million necessary to complete construction after Fort Smith voters rejected a temporary sales tax increase to fund it.

    Unofficial results from Tuesday's special election show 65 percent of voters opposed introducing a nine-month 1 percent sales tax hike to fund the $19.1 million, 50,000-square-foot (4,700-square-meter) facility.

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Museum Foundation President Jim Dunn said Wednesday it could take up to 18 months to raise the money needed to complete the museum.

    The opening had been scheduled for Sept. 24, which is the U.S. Marshals Service 230th anniversary.

    Critics of the proposal say it's unfair to use public tax money to construct a private museum.

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