BOND VOTE: Dallas County To Decide On New Jail

Dallas County supervisors are asking voters to support a $16.8 million bond referendum.

It would allow the county to build a 91,000 square foot facility with plenty of space for a jail and county employees.

No one disagrees with the need for more space, but some want to see all public offices stay downtown in Adel.

“We rent the building immediately next door here for the auditor running the elections. It’s too small,” said Mark Hanson, Chair of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors.

Dallas County owns and rents several buildings in downtown Adel for county operations.

Hanson says they’re not big enough to keep up with a growing population.

“We’ve grown to the point that we can’t operate in the same space we’ve operated in over the past 10 years,” Hanson told Channel 13 News.

That’s why Hanson hopes voters support building a new facility.

It would put county administrative offices under one roof and triple the size of the jail.

“The jail itself was built for 31 inmates,” said Hanson.

The issue for some voters is that the proposed site is two miles east of downtown Adel.

Bob Ockerman is with a group called Tax Payers for Responsible Spending and says the proposed site would pull traffic away from local businesses.

“The economics of the downtown area and all the county offices should be in one area,” said Ockerman.

Ockerman wants the county to explore areas closer to downtown for administrative offices like the Adel Middle School property, a church on the north side of town, and a vacant lot just a block east.

“We may have to take down a few buildings to make some room, but we feel there are spaces available,” Ockerman told Channel 13 News.

Supervisors say no stone has been left unturned when it comes to finding more space.

“We did evaluate the Culligan lot and the lot behind. We did evaluate the middle school,” said Hanson.

Click for more on Dallas County residents in opposition of the new jail/administrative building at the proposed location:

Click for more on Dallas County residents who support building a new jail/administrative building at the proposed location.

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