No jail upgrades in Delaware County after votes fall short - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

No jail upgrades in Delaware County after votes fall short

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DELAWARE COUNTY (KWWL) -

Despite obtaining a majority of yes votes, Delaware County fell short of the 60 percent supermajority required to pass a bond issue on the ballots Tuesday.

The $4.9 million bond would've helped upgrade and expand the Delaware County jail -- a facility that was built in the late 1960's, and in many ways looks like it still belongs in that decade.

58.7 percent of voters said yes to the bond, falling less than 2 percent short of the goal.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Sheriff John LeClere said. "When you work on something this hard, you'd like to see it passed."

Delaware County Supervisor Jeff Madlom said the county will not pursue another bond vote -- at least not for now. 

"We have some things that we have to do, such as repairing the doors and some things. We're going to do this as piecework," Madlom said.

Opinions among Manchester residents are mixed.

Bob Sack, owner of Widmer Drug, and well-known in the community, voted yes for the measure -- and said he's disappointed the bond didn't pass.

"Just like with our schools. Times change, we need to upgrade, the rules change, we need enhancements," Sack said.

But Marybeth Todd, who works at a consignment shop in addition to owning a farm, said her family just couldn't afford another tax hike.

"We can't make it. It's hard to make it. I mean, money is tight. Money is very, very tight," she said.

There was also disappointment about the voter turnout.  Less than 15 percent of registered voters in Delaware County cast a vote on the issue.

Next up for the jail: Delaware County Supervisors will work with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office to start making improvements one at a time, when they have the funding. 

No timetable has been set for when those projects will start.

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