INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Corrections has ordered the closure of the Warren County Jail, following years of ongoing issues at the aging facility. An inspection this month found the Warren County jail is outdated, has outgrown its capacity, and does not meet the needs of the county, prisoners, or staff. As of February 2, the jail will no longer be able to house inmates.
"I`m fed up," said Warren County District 2 Supervisor Crystal McIntyre. "I`m fed up with their games. These are people`s lives, people`s jobs and you just keep pushing this can down the road and it stops. It needs to stop."
"I`ve been willing to talk and work things out and this last year I think i just threw up my hands, saying, I`m tired of talking," said McIntyre. "I`m just gonna yell at you guys, because you just don`t listen and maybe they`re listening, but they just don`t want to do anything and I think the taxpayers deserve to have someone stand up for them, as well as someone who will try to get these guys to do something."
McIntyre says Board Chair and District 3 Supervisor, Doug Shull and Board Vice Chair and District 1 Supervisor Dean Yordi simply have not been willing to spend money to address the kinds of problems that have plagued the Warren County Courthouse and Jail.
"You know, as a taxpayer, that chaps my hide," said McIntyre. "That you're sitting there earning interest on my money, when I could have that money, or I could have better services."
McIntyre says the county has millions of dollars saved in the bank.
"I understand rainy day fund," said McIntyre. "Rainy day fund should be 25% of our budget and we have a $30 million budget. And right now, we`re sitting at over 40% of our budget in reserves. That doesn`t sit very well with me."
And with the state closing the Warren County Jail, local police departments like Carlisle and Indianola will be left to pick up the cost of having to transport inmates to other facilities.
"This is unbudgeted funds that we`re gonna have to ask city council for to house prisoners, transport prisoners," said Captain Brian Sher of the Indianola Police Department. "There`s gonna be extra wear and tear on the vehicles, extra gas, so we`re not looking forward to it."
Dean Yordi declined to do an interview for this report.
Doug Shull could not be reached for comment.