Changes to Winnebago Safety Center still on the table

FOREST CITY, Iowa – It’s back to the drawing board as area county leaders try to figure out how to fund a new safety center and jail.

in a special election, local voters did not pass a bond measure to update the facility and county officials are now trying to figure out what their next step will be.

Terry Durby, the Winnebago County supervisor, says that the results of the vote were disheartening, but they’re not giving up on all of their options.

Winnebago Sheriff David Peterson says that the building is falling apart.

Beyond the maintenance issues of exposed wires and flooding problems in the spring, Peterson’s biggest concern is the space they have available for inmates.

“The way this jail is laid out, if we have one female prisoner we’ve lost two beds,” he said, “it’s just things like that that don’t work out for us.”

As of right now, those working at this Winnebago County facility is turning to their neighboring counties for open beds and  support, but at a rate of $50 per day per inmate, their current system is cause even more headaches and financial burdens.

Officials looked at updating and expanding the current facility, however with the small lot and close buildings, there is no room to expand and the cost would be too high.

Now they’re planning on looking for other buildings and locations to re-locate the entire facility.

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