- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - Workers will turn off the water and remove asbestos from the Warren County Courthouse next week, as the Warren County District Court moves out of the courthouse declared uninhabitable by the court’s chief judge.

District Court Chief Judge Arthur Gamble issued an order Friday for the court to close at 4:30 p.m. Monday, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/28TJPPK ). The court will reopen at the Madison and Marion county courthouses and the Warren County Juvenile Services offices at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the order.

Earlier this month, Gamble notified the county board that the courthouse was not fit for employees and told them that operations would be moved out of the county this summer. Gamble has said serious mechanical, electrical and plumbing issues at the courthouse pose health and safety concerns for court workers.

“The court services will continue outside of Warren County until an alternative location is identified or the courthouse is habitable for occupancy and suitable for use by the district court,” Steve Davis, Iowa Judicial Branch spokesman, wrote in an email.

County Supervisor Crystal McIntyre said she didn’t fault the court for moving out after learning of next week’s asbestos removal and plumbing work.

“Who’s to say when they shut off the water and then re-pressurize it that it won’t cause something else in those 78-year-old pipes?” she said Friday. “I think it’s best to have everyone out.”

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: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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