- Associated Press - Saturday, June 18, 2016

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - A judge who last month declared the Warren County Courthouse uninhabitable now says he’s making plans to temporarily vacate the courthouse because of its deplorable condition.

Chief Judge Arthur Gamble informed the Warren County Board of Supervisors in a letter this week that the court was working with the sheriff and county attorney to find a new location, Des Moines television station KCCI reported (https://bit.ly/24XIX09 ).

The letter comes one month after a sewage smell shut down the facility for nearly a day.

Gamble said that while there has been “patch work” on the courthouse, he pointed to serious mechanical, electrical and plumbing issues that could cause health and safety concerns.

“We told the Board that the current condition of the courthouse impairs the ability of the court to function and fulfill its constitutional responsibilities,” Gamble said in the letter. “The health and safety of our court staff is at risk.”

He and the court staff will likely move outside of the county until the building is repaired, Gamble said.

Warren County supervisors plan to meet with Gamble Monday morning to discuss the issue.

Last month, Gamble warned the county supervisors that the court would begin the process to compel the county to provide suitable court facilities, as required by law, if significant movement to improve conditions didn’t take place.

A $35 million bond referendum, which would have allowed the supervisors to borrow money to build a new justice center, failed in early May.

There is $500,000 in the county’s current budget to make repairs, but estimates provided by a consulting firm show the building needs about $2.3 million worth of repairs.


Information from: KCCI-TV, https://www.kcci.com

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