Photo by Jolene Guzman
The Board of Commissioners will consider a bond to upgrade facilities, including the historic courthouse.
As of Wednesday, January 31, 2018
DALLAS — An architect’s assessment of the Polk County’s courthouse complex in downtown Dallas estimated that nearly $10 million in upgrades are needed.
County Administrator Greg Hansen said he will recommend that the Polk County Board of Commissioners place a 15-year, $9.7 million bond on the May 15 ballot to tackle the repairs at both the historic building and the 1960s addition.
Public hearings on the proposal are slated for Feb. 14 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Courthouse Conference Room, 850 Main St. The board will hear comments on the proposal from the public at those meeting before a decision is made whether or not to put it before voters.
Hansen said the cost will be about 12.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on properties. It will be the first in a series of three funding requests of voters. The others are a renewal of the public safety levy in 2019, and a bond for upgrades at the Polk County Fairgrounds in 2020.
Funding for the courthouse complex will provide for exterior repairs; replacement of windows; new elevators; repair to the HVAC system; moving the emergency generator; a remodel of the sheriff’s office; and landscape improvements on the courthouse block.
Hansen said the passage of the state transportation bill allowed the county to stretch the bond to 15 years instead of 10, bringing down the cost. He said the state will send the county enough road funding for the county to forgo another road bond.
Voters rejected a $10 million facilities bond in May 2016 by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin. That bond would have cost more, about 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over a 10-year period.