June 26, 2018

The Carroll County Board of Supervisors approved a bid Monday from Des Moines law firm Dorsey & Whitney not to exceed $12,500 to help get a bond referendum for a new jail on an upcoming ballot.

The law firm will write the language for the question that could be put before voters in the Nov. 6 general election. The supervisors also previously discussed the possibility of holding a special election March 5 asking voters to approve a bond referendum that would help pay for a new jail.

It’s unclear at this point how much the jail would cost, how much the referendum would be or how much, if at all, it would increase Carroll County residents’ property taxes.

The supervisors’ current plan is to build a new, two-story jail next to the Carroll County Courthouse to replace the current jail in the courthouse’s basement. The plan is a result of two years of study by a county Jail Committee, which recommended a 16,800-square-foot, two-story jail that would be built west of the courthouse, where there is currently a parking lot.

During their next meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Monday, the supervisors will have a phone call with Dorsey & Whitney to discuss the next steps of writing the bond referendum’s language and learn how to present it on the ballot.

In other news, the supervisors approved the decision to replace the current Carroll County mental health advocate, Brett Michael, with Sandy Sweeney on July 1. Sweeney is a mental health advocate who currently represents the six other counties that make up the Rolling Hills Community Services Region, of which Carroll County is also a member. She’ll now represent anyone with mental health issues or needs in the county, Carroll County Supervisor Neil Bock said.

“She visits with them and makes sure that they are properly represented in different situations, whether it be court or other situations,” Bock said. “She’s an advocate for people that have mental health problems.”

Bock said the switch in mental health advocates will not affect the quality of services people in Carroll County receive.

It’s advantageous economically as well as administratively to have the same mental health advocate for the entire region, and with Sandy being the regional person for mental health advocating for six counties, it just made sense to have her do all seven,” Bock said.