- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors has accepted a $15,000 grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa to study possible uses for the county’s historic jail.

The Muscatine Journal (https://bit.ly/1KbNdiR ) reports that the board voted 3-2 to accept the grant Monday through the Certified Local Government project.

The grant, along with a $5,600 cash match from the county, will pay for a consultant to assess the condition of the Old Jail, which was built in 1857. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Muscatine County must also provide a $5,000 in-kind match.

The consultant will provide information about rehabilitating the jail, cost estimates and the pros and cons of using the building as a storage space for historic documents and artifacts, as well as displays and research.

Lynn Pruitt with the Muscatine County Historic Preservation Commission, said the group plans to stage the first floor as it might have been when the building functioned as both a county jail and living quarters for the sheriff and his family. Pruitt says the space upstairs in the jail would be used for document storage.

“We envision having some displays that would replicate the past use as a jail, taking that front part which was the sheriff’s office and living quarters. We would set something up that would have some historic items that we’re able to collect in there to show what life was like back in those days,” Pruitt said.

Some board members like Supervisor Bonebrake are against using the building as a climate-controlled location for the storage of documents.

Bonebrake says that it would be an added expense for the county.


Information from: Muscatine Journal, https://www.muscatinejournal.com

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