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Johnson County Board of Supervisors Looks to Public for Ideas, Concerns

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) The staff that works inside the jail and courthouse in Johnson County says their buildings need help.

"When you have a building this age, the electronics, the wiring, things like that are going to break, and it's difficult finding parts, said John County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek.

When the funding for the project was put to a vote, two different times, to let the county borrow money for the project, most voters were in favor.

"And yet it wasn't enough because you need 60% for a bond initiative, and so that's pretty frustrating, said Johnson County Supervisor Terrence Neuzil.

Now the Board of Supervisors is just listening, trying to figure out if it should change its proposal for a new courthouse and jail, and how it can better sell it to the public the next time around.

"The reason we're reaching out to community members is to ask them where we go next, said Neuzil.

"Get out into the public and allow individuals the opportunity to talk to us and provide what their visions or concerns are pertaining to a jail and the courthouse, said Johnson County Supervisor Pat Harney.

The board will have a series of public meetings to gather ideas and feedback about whats been proposed so far. After those, the referendum could look drastically different, if theres another referendum at all.

Well look at other options, said Neuzil. Should we partner with the city of Iowa City for potentially looking at other bonding initiatives or even a sales tax.

The supervisors say it isnt a matter of if, its a matter of when the renovations happen. But while they wait, the courts schedule continues to get backed up, and the jail continues to be crammed.
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