UPDATE: Vote for new Monona County Jail fails

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ONAWA, Iowa (KCAU) — UPDATE: The bond vote for a new county jail failed.

The vote needed to reach a 60% majority but only managed to ear 49.86% of the vote.

This is the second time the vote has failed. In March 2020, the vote failed with 57% voting in favor.

Across Siouxland, voters are being asked to approve millions of dollars in tax spending to improve everything from schools to jails. In Monona County, voters are deciding on a more than $6 million project.

At one point, roughly 200 people were casting their ballot, deciding whether or not to fund a new jail.

“Since we took the 4 precincts down to one, it’s been pretty constant today. We’ve had some bigger time frames when there’s been a line, it’s just been pretty constant,” said Katie Kelley, a poll worker.

This is the second time the proposal for a jail bond has been put to voters, as the facility has been dealing with severe overcrowding, making it unsafe for both prisoners and staff.

“They need all the improvements and so forth and enlargements or whatever. Just to make- I mean Onawa is the county seat, and we need to keep that building improved and up to date,” said Joyce Gantz.

If it passes, the new facility will cost the average homeowner roughly $2.03 cents a month, or about $27 a year.

“Well, I guess I’m hoping it passes. I think that it’s something that we really need to get on top of before the situation gets worse. We’re shipping people out of our county and we have a lot of expenses,” said Anne Radke.

One man off camera said he doesn’t agree with the proposal. Instead, he’d rather have his tax dollars go to rehabilitation centers.

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