A proposed $16.85 million bond referendum for a Dallas County administration and jail facility was overwhelmingly voted down by 67.95 percent during Tuesday’s special election.
The public measure needed a 60 percent ‘yes’ vote to pass, however, the measure only received 32.05 percent approval for the proposed move.
Adel city councilman Jon McAvoy said he was surprised with the outcome.
"I thought the vote might pass, but it didn’t pass by a large margin," he said. "If that doesn’t send a message then I don’t know what will. We (the Adel City Council and Dallas County Board of Supervisors) need to work together on this and that didn’t happen."
On Tuesday, there were 5,802 total ballots cast, 5,139 cast that day and 663 votes through absentee according to the Dallas County Auditor’s Office.
McAvoy said the city would like to continue talks with the supervisors to make it a "win-win" proposition.
"I think the voters sent a very strong message to the board of supervisors," he said. "I really think we need to work together and focus on the needs rather than the wants of the county."
Shirley McAdon, a member of the Adel City Council, also would like to work together with the board to come up with other viable options.
"The two resolutions that we (the city) passed-requests for consultation and working together on a solution-are what we would still like to see," she said. "I think our resolution never was a blanket rejection of any plans, but rather a push for joint planning on this project. I’m sure the supervisors did what they thought was right."
Discussions of county administration space needs and jail overcrowding have been going on for years as the county continues to grow.
A decision to move county offices including the recorder, auditor, assessor, veterans affairs, board of supervisors, human resources, operations administration and the treasurer to a $22 million, 91,000 square-foot location to east Adel was unanimously approved in early May. Discussions later included moving jail administration and the jail itself to the east Adel site.
Under the proposed plan, the county would still maintain offices at 902 Court St., 121 Ninth St., 201 Nile Kinnick Dr. as well as maintaining the courthouse for court only functions.
If the supervisors decide to bring the vote back in six months, City Administrator Brett Klein said the board needs to work with key stakeholders like the City of Adel as well as other groups county-wide.
"I feel like they (the supervisors) would have had more success if they partnered with the city," he said. "We have it as an agenda item for our Tuesday meeting on how the city can work with the county moving forward. We hope the county will take the city’s ‘olive branch’ so to speak."
The Board of Supervisors were unavailable for comment at the time this article went to press.