Centerville law center.jpg

The current Centerville Law Center.

CENTERVILLE — Voters in many areas of Appanoose County approved reallocating proceeds from their local option sales tax to fund a proposed jail.

On Tuesday’s ballot were multiple measures to redirect funds to a proposed jail and law enforcement center to be constructed.

The special election on Tuesday was to open a funding source for the proposed project. But voters will still need to vote on whether to borrow money from future sales tax revenues to build the facility, a measure expected to be on the ballot in early 2021.

All measures required at least 50% approval from eligible voters. Public measures in the unincorporated areas of the county and the cities of Centerville, Exline and Mystic passed. Measures in Cincinnati and Numa failed.

In the unincorporated areas of the county, voters were asked to both reallocation proceeds from LOST and removing the sunset date. With 321 of 553 voters approving the change, 100% of the 1-cent local option sales tax revenues in the unincorporated areas of the county will go to “new law enforcement center or any other lawful purpose.”

Voters also approved by a similar margin the indefinite extension of the 1-cent sales tax.

In Centerville, voters overwhelmingly supported the reallocation of the existing sales tax proceeds. Of 625 votes, 476 approved the proposed reallocation, which sent funds toward the proposed law center.

After the vote, the proceeds will now send 25% toward debt payments for the pool, 8% for fire department capital expenses and equipment, 5% for economic development, 20% for capital infrastructure, 28.5% for a reduction in the monthly capital improvement surcharge on sewer bills, and 13.5% for the construction and maintenance of a new public safety center.

Voters also approved the indefinite extension of the sales tax.

In the city of Mystic, voters approved their reallocation proposal 33-16. Ten percent of sales tax proceeds in Mystic will go toward the project, and 90% will be used for other purposes.

In the city of Exline, voters approved the reallocation measure 16-10. The city will also send 10% of proceeds toward the project.

Voters in Cincinnati denied a measure to reallocate, with 17 voting in favor and 20 voting against. In Numa, five voted against reallocation and three voted in favor.

None of the voters were voting on a new tax, but rather to reallocate their existing 1-cent sales tax.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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