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Johnson County Supervisors preparing courthouse expansion ballot

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IOWA CITY Johnson County Supervisors are in the final stages of writing a ballot regarding a nearly $33 million courthouse expansion. The bond issue will appear on the November ballot.

The latest designs puts a courthouse annex behind the current location, partially underground, and adds six new courtrooms.

Twice in the last two years voters have rejected a plan to build a justice center, which would have combined the courthouse and jail.

Members of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors are optimistic.

Its a clean vote. Its only a courthouse annex, said Janelle Retting with the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. We got rid of the historic preservation concerns by putting it below ground, weve shrunk it to save a little over a million, we just need to give voters another option.

This winter officials plan to clear the jail of inmates to work on security upgrades, which do not expand the facility.