SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A cloud of doubt hung over Woodbury County jail vote.
Building jails are seldom popular with voters, however, after making a case for the $50 million project with community groups and others around the county local law enforcement officials celebrated Tuesday evening.
Because the jail project is a joint project between the city and county it required 50% support instead of the normal 60% and the partnership is paying off.
The bond referendum passes with 57% approval and 42% voted against the plan to replace Woodbury County downtown jail and LEC.
The 20 of 28 precincts as well as the absentee votes supported the project. This is just shy of 14% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the matter.
It’s important to note that had the measure required the 60% usually required the measure would not have passed.
The new facility is planned to cover 110,000 square foot jail built off of 28th Street near Highway 75. Exact details of the project still need approval from supervisors, but the jail is expected to hold at least 440 inmates and have room to expand if needed.
Siouxlanders in favor of the project told KCAU 9 they believe this is the best option to keep the community safe.
“If this particular jail is not built and it closes were going to lose law enforcement support and in other words were going to have deputies running prisoners around and you won’t have enough police to cover criminal activity and that’s a danger,” said Chris Gonzales, Woodbury County resident.
This is the largest joint authority project in the state’s history. Keith Radig, Vice Chairman of the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, said the next steps will be to start moving forward with contacts so the building process can get underway.
“It’s going to six months or so to get the design then three months to get it out to bid and then about a year to build so about a year and nine months to two years to get the new jail up and running and then from there we will tackle the old one and move forward that way,” said Radig.
Radig said everyone a part of this project has put in a lot of time, research, and work to get to this point and he believes this building will not fail Woodbury County.
For the replay of the results coming into the Woodbury County Courthouse, watch below.