Posted at: 11/04/2013 5:52 PM
By: Justin Thompson-Gee
Mitchell County Courthouse on Tuesday's Ballot
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- On Election Day, residents of Mitchell County in Iowa will vote on a $7.2 million bond to tear down the existing courthouse and build a brand new one.
Members of the Mitchell County Historic Preservation Association and Friends of the Mitchell County Courthouse met on Monday outside the courthouse to urge citizens to vote no.
“This building isn’t just old, it’s also priceless, it’s precious, it’s one of a kind we need to keep it,” says Jane Elliott, an Osage, IA resident.
“I think Supervisors are trying to bully people into voting yes because they are saying we’ll just fund it in an alternative way that will cost you, the taxpayer, more money,” says President of the Mitchell County Historic Preservation Association Penney Morse.
We spoke with Mitchell County Supervisor Stan Walk who said that the project will likely go through with or without voter’s approval. A yes vote on Tuesday is for a lower interest bond, a no vote will force the supervisors to select a bond with higher interest which they can do without voter approval.
Walk gave ABC 6 a tour of the existing courthouse to prove that the building is in disrepair. He says, “if it had been preserved over the years like it should have been, it might have been easier to try and salvage it, but once it goes beyond a certain point then you basically have to look at replacing it”.
Even if the old courthouse could be renovated, it would cost around $2 million more than the current plan to tear it down and build a new one.