Jackson County voters say no to new jail, again

Jackson County Jail and Sheriff's Office KCRG-TV Photo

UPDATE 8/7/2019

MAQUOKETA, Iowa - Plans to build a new, but scaled-back Jackson County Jail get another no from voters.

The county was asking for $6.5 billion dollars to build a 28-bed facility.

Chief Deputy Steve Schroeder tells KCRG-TV 9 the county has long outgrown its current jail.

Schroeder says he's disappointed with the outcome, and he's not sure what's next for the county. A state jail inspector has told the sheriff's office to build a new jail, or risk being shut down.

The current jail only has 11 beds. Schroeder says he often has to house inmates in other counties, which can be costly to taxpayers. There's also a waiting list to serve time in jail.

Schroeder expects he and the Sheriff will meet with the Board of Supervisors to decide if they should hold another vote and when. He wants the people of Jackson County to know costs will likely build-up without a new jail.

"People have to realize that it's going to affect your taxes either way. You know we can build a jail and keep the jobs in Jackson County and spend the money in Jackson County, or we can house them out of county," he said.

He says the state jail inspector is aware of the outcome, but he isn't sure what the state's next steps will be either.

The county had also received a $300,000 donation from a local family to go toward building the new jail. Schroeder says that money will now go back to the family.


MAQUOKETA, Iowa - Voters in the eastern Iowa's Jackson County are hitting the polls today to decide whether they'll build a new county jail.

If the $6.5 million-dollar bond referendum passes the new jail would be built in Maquoketa. A similar referendum didn't pass last year.

Polls in Jackson County are open until 8 PM.

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