On May 2, 2017, residents of Dallas County will head for the polls to decide the fate of a proposed $23 million law enforcement facility, which would be built on the eastern end of Adel in the area known as “Ortonville.”
Voters should get out to the polls, if they have not already voted absentee, and cast a “yes” vote for the new facility.
This issue is important in Dallas County because the current facility does not meet the needs of the county, does not have an adequate amount of space for the rising number of inmates that Dallas County is seeing through its explosive growth. Dallas County is the fifth fastest growing county in the United States.
This is the fourth time the Board of Supervisors is putting a new facility to a vote, and this time only includes the Sheriff’s Department and the County jail. Last time, the proposal, which at the time also included the 911 dispatch center and had an estimated cost of $16 million, received over 50 percent “yes” votes, but fell short of the required 60 percent for passage.
Many people in Dallas County oppose this proposition, just like the last one, because they don’t want to see a rise in taxes, even if they are minor raises, to cover the cost of the bond, or because they don’t like the location and think it would be better for the County to build on the lot currently occupied by Adel Chrysler, or north of town in Dallas Center or Perry.
People should vote “yes” on this proposal because the current facility only holds 36 prisoners (soon to be reduced to 24 after the State removed a temporary variance), while the County has had more the 70 prisoners at one time, causing the County to have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax-payer money and resources to take prisoners to other facilities. The proposal would save millions of dollars over 30 years.
The tax impact from the proposed project is minimal as those with a $150,000 dollar house would see an estimated increase of $1.91 on their property tax bill while those with a $400,000 house would see an estimated increase of $5.30 per month on the property tax bill. According to www.dallascountyvote.com, the increase would only be experienced over the first three years and in the fourth year, the levy rate would be below the current levy rate, due to other debts being payed off.
The location the County has picked is ideal because the County doesn’t own the Adel Chrysler lot, and it wouldn’t be big enough to house the facility or future expansion. The Ortonville location is within the City of Adel, which meets the requirements of all public officials’ offices being located in the County seat.
The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on May 2 in all 34 precincts and Dallas County residents should get out and cast a “yes” vote.