Supervisors set May 7 voting day for new justice-center proposal


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The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has set May 7 as the date to vote on a smaller proposed justice center.

During a meeting Thursday at the Johnson County Administration Building, the supervisors voted in favor of a $46.2 million complex. Taxpayers will be responsible for $43.5 million.

The new proposal calls for a 195-bed jail and court space, down from the original 243-bed proposal, which garnered 56 percent of the votes in November. The measure needed 60 percent to pass.

Supervisor Terrence Neuzil said the May 7 date was chosen based on a number of factors. The ballot language will carry over from the original proposal.

“We certainly know this is fresh in the minds of the voters,” he said. “The costs associated with construction are anticipated to rise if we don’t get this started. Interest rates right now are at a historic low, and this is a real opportune time for this community to step up. If this one fails, I am anticipating us having to start over.”

Additional cost savings include decreasing the number of courtrooms from six to four, adding more masonry to the exterior rather than glass, and having the county put forth $2.7 million toward final construction costs, up from the original $1.3 million.

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