Willey_Jack

JACK WILLEY

The Jackson County supervisors are negotiating to buy a new property that could hold a future Jackson County Detention Center.

Supervisor Jack Willey on Tuesday said the property was within the city of Maquoketa. Officials declined to state which specific property they are looking at.

Jackson County voters twice rejected a bond referendum for a new jail to be built on property south of Maquoketa, but the county supervisors have talked about scheduling another vote in March.

Supervisors recently toured four possible sites, including a property off Maple Street owned by the city of Maquoketa, a property on the south edge of town, the property that currently houses Jackson County Regional Health Center on West Grove Street, and the former Hide Co. building in the industrial park on Jacobsen Drive.

Two previous bond referendums for a new jail have failed to get the 60 percent voter approval needed to pass. Both of those referendums were based on a site near Wal-Mart in Maquoketa. However, since the second bond election in August, that property was sold to Citizens State Bank, which is based in Wyoming and is in talks to build a bank branch there.

The state jail inspector has found fault with Jackson County’s current jail for years but has hesitated to close the jail as long as the county continues to work toward building a new one or fixing the deficiencies. 

When county officials toured the four sites two weeks ago, jail builder John Hansen said he planned to present several different site options in writing, at a meeting, to the board of supervisors.