May 7 election officially set on Johnson County criminal justice center

Need for new facility has been discussed for a decade

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Voters will go to the polls May 7 to decide the fate of a long-discussed criminal justice center project in Johnson County.

The special election will come six months after voters shot down a funding plan for a previous version of the justice center.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Thursday night to set the election date and the ballot language for a $43.5 million bond issue, Chairwoman Janelle Rettig said. Board members said last week they would have the election May 7, and Thursday’s vote made that official.

The bond would be put toward a $46.2 million building next to the existing county courthouse that would include a new jail and court space.

A $46.8 million bond issue for a $48.1 million project was supported by 56 percent of voters in November, but it needed 60 percent to pass. The May 7 proposal also will require a supermajority for approval.

County officials have talked about the need for a new jail and improved court space for more than a decade.

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