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If the citizens of Floyd County chose to do nothing, the county will continue to see increased costs in operation and maintenance. There is also a risk of the current jail being shut down. A sound plan is to construct a new law enforcement center. Taking action in order to avoid a crisis in the event of a closed facility or lawsuit is the next step. The path is to invest time now in order to be proactive and not reactive.
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Since 2013, the State Chief Jail Inspector's reports have stated that the current jail, “Is an older facility that does not meet the needs of the staff or public." In April 2014, Delbert Longley, Chief Jail Inspector, walked through the jail with the Sheriff, Board of Supervisors and other interested parties. A lengthy list of notes included issues regarding classification requirements (e.g. persons with felony charges being kept away from those with misdemeanors, convicted persons kept from those who have been charged but not yet gone to trial, men segregated from women, etc.), visitation allows the public to come in to a secured area of the jail, jail office/booking area is in a secure perimeter of the jail, jail staff being exposed to volatile or irate inmates, the courtroom subject to being at risk in a volatile situation, potential for tampering with storage areas, cleaning supplies being potentially accessible, steel jail cells with bars and antiquated locks are just some of the many issues on the list causing deficiencies and sub-par standards with our facility.
We are currently licensed for 14 beds with a holding cell for short term occupancy. Oftentimes, we are transporting inmates to other facilities, not necessarily because we don't have a bed, but rather in order to meet the classification requirements mentioned above with only the four cells available. Recent peaks have reached 27 beds needed to accommodate our jail needs.
The condition of the Floyd County jail has been considered a "grandfathered" status for years. In 2014, Longley informed us that we would be losing our grandfathering in the next 10-15 years and it was time to get a plan together on how we would move forward. Renovate the existing facility? Hold & transport? Build a new facility? Those were our options. After four years of studies with multiple considerations including other needs of the courthouse, the cost to build new appears to be the most fiscally responsible option.
No. The proposed law enforcement center will house the Floyd County Jail, Sheriff's Office, Emergency Operations Center and Floyd County Communications Center. Several courthouse updates that will be incorporated in the bond referendum include new ADA restrooms and elevators, windows, and heating/cooling system.
Total project costs are approximately $13,500,000. This includes a new law enforcement center (LEC) and courthouse updates. An addition to the west side of the courthouse will including closing Jackson St and acquiring two lots. The LEC which will house a 32-bed jail, Sheriff's offices, Emergency Operating Center/Training Room, and Communications (Dispatch) Center. An atrium will attach the courthouse to the LEC and will include a lobby area with a public ADA elevator and restrooms and a secured area with its own elevator to transport inmates from the LEC/Jail to the 3rd and 4th floor court rooms. The courthouse improvements include upgrades to the heating/cooling system, a window replacement project, and renovations to some offices.
Projected costs: The tables below propose an annual tax impact for a bond funded with general obligation bonds payable over 19 years assuming $1.08 tax rate per $1,000 of taxable value at a 3.5% interest rate.
Yes. Several studies were completed before deciding on a plan.
In June 2015, the City of Charles City, Charles City Community School District, Charles City YMCA and Floyd County jointly procured FEH Design to facilitate a public driven study to consider community resources in the public and private sector, conduct a fair and unbiased study of the current conditions, and provide sustainable solutions to meet the needs of all entities. In addition to the Joint Facility Study, FEH also produced a Jail Study for Floyd County. Multiple meetings and committees were engaged over a 4-month period. From these studies, the jail concept received positive results from citizens and was listed as the highest priority from a community standpoint.
In November 2015, the Charles City City Council and the Floyd County Board of Supervisors held their first of several planning sessions which led to hiring Prochaska & Associates to conduct additional studies, including unified law enforcement (combined sheriff and police as one law enforcement agency), co-locating Charles City Police Department and Sheriff's office in one facility where they could share resources, and the needs of both entities. The unified law enforcement idea fizzled early in the process and in April 2017, the Charles City City Council voted not to pursue joining the county in a joint law enforcement center due to their share of estimated costs to build and the timing of other city projects. The next phase of the study soon pursued with a committee of citizens from throughout the county and included county employees. From many options that were studied, the Citizens Committee selected option 1B for recommendation to the board of supervisors in November 2017.
The board of supervisors have also thoroughly reviewed all considerations including renovating, hold & transport, and building new. Several additional topics were also addressed:
Our society requires a satisfactory facility to hold individuals awaiting trial and those sentenced to be incarcerated. It is our moral and constitutional duty to provide a safe and secure environment for staff and inmates while ensuring all medical, nutritional, substance abuse and mental health treatment needs are met. It is the duty of the Sheriff and Jail Administrator to adhere to the Iowa Jail Standards and ensure the safety of all inmates, staff, and citizens.
With the recent jail inspections and deteriorating condition of the forth floor, along with the jails inability to properly segregate and house inmates and future costs, the need is now. There are also cost savings with a new facility in terms of reduced maintenance costs and less money spent for housing and transporting inmates out of county.
All registered voters in Floyd County will be able to vote on the bond referendum on May 1, 2018 as a Floyd County-wide special election from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. From the time successful passage of the vote occurs, until the building is occupied, will be approximately two or three years.
Construction inflation rates average 4-4.5%. Increased cost when delayed for:
1 year = $607,500.00
2 years = ??
No. A study by Prochaska and Associates found that renovating the fourth floor is not an option due to space and state compliance. Being compliant with state codes would decrease the number of cells and cause inmates to be housed and transported out of county. This has not been found to be cost effective.
Yes, here is the current jail tour schedule and information on registering for those tours. If none of those times work, individuals and groups may call the sheriff's office at 641-228-1821 to schedule a tour. There are pictures on Floyd County's website and town hall meetings will be hosted throughout the county to help answer your questions.
The law enforcement center will be built on the west side of the courthouse grounds and extend west to the old Davico Gas Station and two adjacent properties.
A study by Prochaska & Associates looked at past jail populations and factored in growing trends, crime rates and county population to arrive at the proposed 32 bed jail.
No, it would not save money if the County waited to build. There would be inflation costs of construction (see Question 10). The Sheriff's office would incur increased costs for transporting and housing inmates out of county. On average, it costs $55/day, plus any transportation costs, per inmate transported outside of Floyd County.
The majority of inmates held in the Floyd County jail have been accused of a crime and are awaiting trial and those persons convicted of a crime and sentenced to less than one year.
The Sheriff and Jail Administrator must adhere to the state of Iowa Jail Standards. Each year, the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Iowa Fire Marshal inspect the jail.
The proposed jail pod design would replace the outdated linear layout. The pod design contains sections of cells arranged around a central control station, from which a jailer can monitor all housing units. A linear designed jail contains cell blocks with bars along a hall.
The American Correctional Association is very specific that "continuous observation of inmate living areas is a fundamental requirement for maintaining safe, secure custody and control" and that's exactly what the pod design does. The new law enforcement center will allow adequate classifications of inmates which is required by State of Iowa Jail Standards. Inmates need to be seperated: felons from misdemeanors, males from females (by sight and sound), juveniles from adults, sentenced inmates versus those accused of crime and awaiting trial and further segregation due to behavior and mental health needs. A new law enforcement center will increase the safety of all inmates, public and staff.
The age and linear design of the current jail has contributed to:
Currently, inmates share the same hallways, elevators and entryways in the courthouse causing safety concerns for all involved.
These issues are addressed in detail under the “Sheriff’s Office” tab. In short, having converted an apartment into an office has created limited space for the number of staff and files. This creates cramped working spaces, resulting in less efficient work.
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal mandate and audits will be conducted in the future of the Floyd County Jail. PREA audits could further reduce the functional number of beds available because of classifications and separation of inmates due to the current facility's linear design. This would result in significant decreases in the capability to house inmates in Floyd County, resulting in increased costs and staffing to transport inmates out of county.
No. The project will include the Floyd County Jail, Sheriff's Office, Emergency Operations Center and Floyd County Communications Center.
Yes, jail standards have changed since 1941 when the jail was originally built and the jail no longer meets the current requirements.
Although we have done the best we can with what we have given the location of the Jail and Sheriff's Office, expansion is not an option. To properly segregate the inmates with a redesign of the current space would dramatically decrease the number of inmates the County can house. This would result in increased transportation and housing costs.
The current location west of the courthouse is an ideal and practical location. By connecting to the existing courthouse, thus keeping inmates secured within the same walls, transporting inmates to District and Magistrate court is safer and more efficient versus transporting from another location. The Sheriff’s Office conducts Courthouse and Courtroom Security, by being connected, this allows for immediate response to any emergencies and allows for efficient workflow between the other county departments located in the courthouse. A majority of the property where the new facility will be constructed is currently owned by the county, adjacent property will need to be acquired in the future. This location cost would be cheaper than buying commercial land elsewhere, which may or may not be in the downtown area of Charles City, or even in town at all.
The current Jail and Sheriff's Office is 6,846 square feet. The proposed new facility is 18,153 square feet, (24,131 total with walls & circulation).In should be noted that the total increase in space for just the Sheriff’s Office and Jail is approximately 5,200 square feet and the Communications Center, garages, Emergency Operations Center, break room, interview rooms, armory, locker rooms and exercise room are all new additions.
The Communications Center dispatches for all of Floyd County and is currently funded through a county-wide tax. A Facility Study by FEH listed several issues with the building itself; including mechanical, electrical, fire code, roof, doors, windows and ADA compliance. The City of Charles City is uncertain on future plans for the Police Department/City Hall building. With the county currently having a location, plan and design for a future facility, Floyd County is exploring the option to relocate the Communications Center in the new facility. The proposed new location will meet and exceed state standards for space requirements, ADA compliant as well as the addition of new and updated equipment.Being located next to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) is an integral part of any natural disaster or major emergency operation. The two work hand in hand and are essential in the efficient gathering and release of information. There is also a benefit and possibility of cross training between dispatchers/correctional officers.
No. In the last ten years, twelve facilities have had similar issues, concerns and bond referendums to build new Sheriff’s Offices, Jails, Emergency Operations Centers, Dispatch Centers and Joint Law Enforcement Centers. Most all facilities that date older than the 1960’s, are having the same issues with segregation, poor design, site and sound separation, leaks, space concerns and the threat of being shut down by the State Jail Inspector.
The links on the left-hand side of the Sheriff's main page offer descriptions and detailed analysis of the issues and concerns concerning the Sheriff’s Office, Jail and courthouse. These links also contain images of our current facilities. There is also a link for the meeting notes, presentations, designs and cost analysis. Information concerning the renovations and improvements for the courthouse can be found on the Floyd County website under the Auditor's Office or by clicking on this link here.