After 3rd 'no' vote, Johnson County running out of options - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

After 3rd 'no' vote, Johnson County running out of options

Posted: Updated:
JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) - Voters did not approve a Johnson County Justice Center in November 2012 or May 2013. Tuesday, the idea of a courthouse annex also failed to get the number of votes needed to pass.

Now, Johnson County supervisors are trying to come up with a new plan.

"What we're talking about are Band-Aids, but this is a problem that needs a bigger solution than a Band-Aid," said Rod Sullivan, Johnson County Supervisor.

The conversation is now switching to short-term solutions, and supervisors say anything is on the table: trailers, moving the county attorney out, relocating all employees. Even the idea of tearing down the historic courthouse was mentioned.

"I think we have to be open to all kinds of suggestions right now because we've got a critical, critical problem here and we have no solution in sight," said Sullivan.

Security is a top concern. Right now there's a sticker on the door telling you that you can't bring weapons in, but there are no metal detectors inside to stop you from actually doing it.

Deputies can search people, but it's tough because the building has multiple entrances due to the main entrance not being handicap-accessible.

Another issue is space. Files are stacked everywhere.

The county attorney says there are not enough courtrooms. She says there are other problems, too, and the solutions are unclear.

"I'm really going to have to check with the judges, check with the clerk of court, check with the other attorneys who use that building," said Janet Lyness, Johnson County Attorney. "I don't have a specific plan."

That plan will come together, supervisors hope, over the next few months.
Powered by Frankly