Voters in a southwest Iowa county have overwhelmingly approved a county-wide sales tax that will finance construction of a new jail. The final tally shows almost 75 percent of the Ringgold County residents who voted to impose the extra penny of sales tax on purchases made in their county. Ringgold County Sheriff Mike Sobotka says the start of construction depends on how quickly land can be purchased for the new jail.
"If all goes well, probably by mid- to late spring we could be looking at (taking) bids for the project and then in the early part of the summer begin the construction phase," he says. The single-story jail would house up to 15 prisoners. The cost of construction, including the purchase of land, is pegged at two-and-a-half million dollars. The current Ringgold County Jail is on the fourth floor of the county courthouse. It can house six inmates — behind cell bars that were forged in 1895.