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Delaware County Voters Could Decide Jail Expansion

MANCHESTER, Iowa - Plans for a larger and more secure Delaware County Jail could be up to voters there this spring. County supervisors have been more actively calling for a $4 million expansion to the jail in Manchester since last fall. Supervisors hope to put a bond issue on the ballot this May.

Inside this almost half century old jail, space is limited. With only 12 cells, deputies send several inmates to the west.

Supervisor Jeff Madlom said, "Right now we have 6 people in the Buchannan County jail. Our bill was $8300 for the month of January. "

In November, inmate Timothy Reynolds escaped from the jail after he hit a deputy with a telephone, stole the deputy's keys and then his car. Several weeks later, authorities caught Reynolds in Indiana. Supervisors say a new jail would mean technology to ensure that kind of escape couldn't happen again.

"If they got over powered they could not get out because they would have to be open by the person at the control panel," said Madlom.

Jailers would replace keys with an electronic system. Only a dispatcher could authorize a request to open jail doors. It's all part of the plans county leaders plan to roll out over the next few weeks.

Madlom said, "People have to know what we want to do and how the jail will look before they can make a second decision."

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