WARREN COUNTY, Iowa -- Warren County taxpayers know they need a new jail, but leaders are fighting over where to put it and how much money to spend.
Mold, sewer smells, and security issues have the state threatening to shut down the current Warren County Jail, but on Tuesday night there was little consensus on plans for a new building.
The new land being considered is a 20-acre parcel along Highway 65 in Indianola. It's listed for sale for $7,500 per acre, but because the county only wants to buy the 20 acres along the highway, the seller is asking for $28,000 per acre. That higher cost is what brought many people to Tuesday's meeting and led to a heated exchange with County Supervisor Crystal McIntyre.
"I think this land stinks, we need to do something about a jail, but this land stinks and I wasn't involved in it and we know why, because two people want to be in control. It's a back door deal."
County leaders say many land owners are refusing to sell once they learn their land will be used for a jail, which is leaving few options.
The Board of Supervisors will meet on January 16th to finalize the bond referendum to buy the land and build a jail. Voters will then decide the referendum on May 1st.