County voters approve jail bond by wide margin

The present Dallas County Jail will be converted to use as an Iowa Fifth Judicial District criminal courtroom.

For the first time in Dallas County history, voters Tuesday approved the financing for a new $22.9 million county law enforcement center, including a new county jail and sheriff’s administrative offices.

With the Dallas County Auditor’s office reporting returns from 34 of 34 precincts at 9:25 p.m., the unofficial results of the countywide special election show voters approved proposition A by an overwhelming 77.6 percent, with 5,859 yes votes and 1,690 no votes.

Approval by 60 percent of county voters was needed to pass the measure. Unofficial estimates show 6,699 votes were cast, representing about 13 percent of the county’s 56,513 registered voters.

Voters faced a single question on Proposition A:

“Shall the County of Dallas, State of Iowa, issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not exceeding the amount of $22,900,000 for the purpose of designing, constructing, erecting, equipping and furnishing a new sheriff’s office-law enforcement center, with related site improvements?”

This election marked the fourth time the Dallas County Board of Supervisors brought the referendum before the voters of the county, which is the fastest growing county in Iowa and fifth-fastest in the U.S., according to recent U.S. Census Bureau calculations.  — makes a new law enforcement center an urgent necessity.


  1. I am glad that this has finally passed. In the long run, it will be for the benefit of all the county’s citizens. However, I cannot believe the extremely low turnout. The last election faced claims of corruption because not all of the voting sites were open. This time the county made sure that all 34 sites were open, and only 6,699 people in a county of a population of 83,000 people vote. When I voted at 8:40 this morning at the Safety Building/Police and Fire Station, I was voter number 8. I guess concentrating on living our isolated and indifferent lives is less bothersome. Let others make important decisions for us. We do not want to be bothered. To those who voted against this measure: Do not stop working on the ideas that you have to bring about social change in the way we deal with criminals and in particular drug and mental issues. –Doug Wood


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