- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - A judge has declared the Warren County Courthouse no longer habitable and says court employees are at risk in it.

Chief Judge Arthur Gamble of Iowa’s Fifth Judicial District issued the finding this week, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/1rLSoDq ). He also told Warren County supervisors that if the county doesn’t act soon, the court will begin a process to compel the county to provide suitable court facilitates, as required by law.

A $35 million bond referendum, which would have allowed the supervisors to borrow money to build a new justice center, failed earlier this month.

The supervisors have been looking at either making extensive repairs or building a new courthouse because the 77-year-old building has major plumbing, electrical and heating and cooling issues. Gamble closed the courts twice last year because of plumbing and sewer gas leaks.

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.

Gamble told County Board Chairman Doug Shull that the board will have to choose between either moving the courts out of the building or fixing the courthouse in a timely manner.

“It’s up to you how you want to pursue,” Gamble said.

The Warren County Supervisors will meet again Monday at the county administration building in Indianola to decide its next move.

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


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