The people of Polk County have spoken, there will be no new Polk County Courthouse for now. In a special election held on April 29th, the proposal to build an eight-story, $132 million dollar courthouse annex next to the current Polk County Courthouse, was convincingly rejected by the voting members of Polk County. It was not even close with 56.7 percent voting against the proposal and 43.3 percent voting in favor. The referendum needed at least 60 percent to pass.
Unfortunately, this vote came at a time where the economy is suffering, the housing market is plummeting and gas prices are steadily increasing. Simply put, the timing was not right for residents of Polk County to agree to bear the financial burden for the new courthouse with increased property taxes. In the meantime, attorneys, judges, jurors, litigants and the general public will continue to make do with what is currently in place. Although the current courthouse gets the job done and provides an ambiance unmatched by any other courthouse in the State, new facilities are necessary and will hopefully be forthcoming. The issue may be brought up again on the ballot of the upcoming November elections.