Dallas County to Hold Special Vote for $16.8 Million Jail

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ADEL, Iowa -- For the third time in three years, residents of Dallas County will vote on the construction of the new jail.

A proposed $16.8 million bond referendum is set to help the county build and pay for a law enforcement center, two miles east of Adel on Highway 6.

The current jail houses 36 inmates however it averages 40. Dallas County Jail Administrator, Doug Lande, said the jail outgrew itself years ago and the proposed site would be almost 11 times larger.

"On day one this facility will be able to accommodate around 112 inmates and in the future it would be able to accommodate almost 400 inmates," Lande said.

For years, the Dallas County Sheriff's has used its neighboring jail for support. Last year, it paid close to $8,500 to the Polk County Jail to house some of its inmates. Polk County currently charges a $50 an inmate per day housing fee but if the vote were to fail, the sheriff said rates would increase to $95.

Lande said the department is also considering using the Story County Jail as a resource.

In 2013 and 2014, the county failed to pass similar referendums, Lande strongly believes increased taxes played a role.

If the proposal is approved, annual taxes would increase $12.61 per $100,000 home evaluation. It's estimated, the average home in Dallas County would pay an increase of $23.83 in taxes.

Ultimately, if the proposal is voted down, the County Board of Supervisors could build the jail anyway according to Lande. He did not comment if that decision would be considered.

The vote which is set for August 4, will have several polling locations. Residents can vote early at the Auditors Office, 910 Court Avenue in Adel. Click here for other locations.

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