Warren County Supervisors Select Location for New Courthouse

INDIANOLA, Iowa  --  It has been a saga with seemingly no end in sight, but on Tuesday a solid decision was made in regard to replacing the Warren County jail and courthouse.

The problems facing the current building are well documented, with everything from mold to ventilation issues.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors has decided the jail and courthouse in the middle of the square will be torn down and a new facility will be built in its place.

“It may not be everyone's number one choice, but it's the choice that everyone can get together and support,” said Vice Chair Dean Yordi.

The next step is to find out how much the building will cost. After that, the board will have until June 19th to decide whether to put a bond referendum on the August 7th ballot. A $35 million bond was defeated in 2016, and this time the board is looking to max out at $30 million for the new building. However, the meeting turned contentious when Supervisor Crystal McIntyre wanted to tack on an additional bond item to revamp Warren County's aged 911 communication system, which would add a minimum of $5 million.

“We'll work on it, but it's not a good time right now to put them together,” said Yordi

“Dean, this is about public safety! It's not just about numbers, people get it when you say, 'It's about public safety, it's about your life or death issues.' People will get that!" said McIntyre.

After floating the two as separate bond issues, no further action was taken in the meeting.

One small business owner in the town square says she's happy the supervisors selected the square as their intended location.

“Jury duty is always a good thing, they're always looking for somewhere close to go eat, and even if they grab a quick bite they'll check out some of the other businesses on the square, as well,” said Andrea Palmer, owner of the Local Vine. “I'm just glad it's figured out."

The end of the tunnel isn't guaranteed, though. In 2016, when the board tried the first time, the bond didn't even get a simple majority. It needs 60% to pass.