DES MOINES REGISTER
The Warren County Board of Supervisors will ask city managers in Indianola, Norwalk and Carlisle to help pay for temporary trailers to house inmates once the county jail closes Feb. 2.
While Iowa Code mandates counties to “pay the costs of the board and care of the prisoners in the county jail,” Warren County Supervisor Dean Yordi said the trailers are “not entirely our cost, I believe.”
Sheriff Brian Vos told the supervisors Monday afternoon the trailers will cost about $18,400 per month, but supervisor Doug Shull said he thought the trailers would cost “a little more than that.”
The supervisors agreed they’d talk to the three cities with police departments and see if they’d be willing to pitch in for the trailers.
Inmates wouldn’t be housed in the trailers for long periods of time, Vos said. Rather, the trailers would save his deputies and the police departments from driving to another county to drop off inmates between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 a.m.
New land options
DCI Group, the county’s construction firm, and Shive-Hattery, which is engineering the proposed jail, joined in the conversation at the Monday afternoon meeting, telling the board they’ll need between two and three weeks after the county purchases land for a new jail to finalize renderings and costs for a jail.
At one time, the county was hoping to move forward with a bond referendum for a new jail in May.
Yordi said he’s been looking at two new sites for the jail, since one he picked south of town was criticized by law enforcement officials and members of the public at a recent meeting. Officers from Norwalk and Carlisle said they’d prefer a piece of land on the north side of town so it takes less time for them to transport their inmates.
Yordi is now looking at pieces of land across the highway from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Indianola and another near the Indianola Veterinary Clinic on the north side of Indianola.
He said he prefers the land near the church because he estimates it would take around $1 million to prepare the land on the north side of town near the vet clinic. The northern piece of land isn’t in the city limits so it would take about $600,000 to hook up water, sewer and fiber services and it would need significant work to be leveled off.
Mike Lewis, with Shive-Hattery, said it should be easier for the supervisors to pick a place to put the jail once renderings of the jail are produced.
“There has been a lot of conversation about what this is going to look like and how it’s going to affect my neighborhood,” Lewis said. “Once we get that imagery, I find it will be complementary to wherever it will be.
“Barbed wire fence will not be on this project. It will be a building that looks like every other government building.”