Voters reject spending on new Warren County Courthouse; businesses left to stare at vacant lot for forseeable future

Local News

INDIANOLA — A vote to fund a new Warren County Courthouse failed to pass Tuesday night, meaning Indianola businesses will see a vacant lot as well as decreased business.

“It’s driving businesses away from the square,” said Bryant Houston, owner of Funaro’s Deli. “We’ve been here since 1996. I don’t really see us going anywhere, but at the same time I don’t want to look at that any longer.”

In August 2018, $30 million for the construction of a new courthouse was approved.

But bids for the project came in over budget by $7 million, meaning the county had to either raise more money or go back to the drawing board.

The county has said they want an 80,000-square foot facility, while builders maintain the current funding only allows for 73,000 square feet.

56 percent of the voters were supportive of the additional funding measure Tuesday, but that fell short of the required 60 percent.

“At this point, it’s been up for a vote three different times,” Houston said. “I just feel like the county’s going to wind up doing what they need to do and the voters might not have a say in it I feel like.”

The square has been vacant since the old courthouse was demolished in July.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.