UPDATE: Johnson County Justice Center bond fails - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Johnson County Justice Center fails to obtain necessary support

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

More than half of Johnson County voters said yes to a proposed new justice center. The $46.8 million bond issue, however, failed to reach a super majority, with 56 percent saying yes, and 44 percent saying no.

There were some anxious moments for both campaigns Tuesday night.

Ultimately the push for a new justice center in Johnson county has come up a little bit short.

"The attack was against the jail, and people have something against jails, unfortunately there's a need and tomorrow we'll go back and do the same things that we do," said Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek.

The new 243 bed facility would have done more than add much needed space to the jail.

Supporters say the new facility would have added courtrooms, and added security to departments that were lacking in both areas.

"We're a growing county. Really the issue was about safety and security," Pulkrabek said.

Opponents agree there's a need for a new facility, but say that the proposed project was more than what was warranted

"We need a new jail but this one's too big," said Jeff Cox, an opponent to the issue.

Opponents say the issue has brought forward an important conversation that needs to happen regarding the racial disparity of Johnson County inmates.

'I hope we can begin to have a discussion about how to deal with the kind of racial disparity in policing and incarceration," Cox said.

The current jail holds around 90 inmates.

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