After 80 years of service, the current courthouse no longer meets the needs of the county. At 31,000 sq. ft. limited space is one of many problems.
Several engineering studies of the building have been completed. Due to decaying infrastructure (plumbing leaks, sewer gas, odors, leaking windows, leaks in the foundation and more), rennovation would be cost prohibitive due to the magnitude of the updates.
The inmate housing unit (jail) was closed by the State of Iowa in February 2018 due to code violations requiring us to transport and house all our inmates in other counties. Transportation of 40+ inmates daily is time consuming and expensive. While other counties have "beds" for our inmates in their jails, we pay fees for these services, an expensive alternative. Out of County housing is a useful short term option, however over time these costs increase. We are also limited to the space available in other Counties, causing us to transport to multiple locations.
Updating the courthouse was also reviewed however moving columns, floors and foundations is cost prohibitive.