County expects to receive ?full transfer? of land for jail from the state

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Within a week or two, Henry County Supervisors expect to have the ?full transfer? of land from the state of Iowa to Henry County for the site of the new jail, Supervisor Greg Moeller said.

During the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 7, Moeller announced that the attorney general has completed the paperwork to transfer the land from the state to the county, and they are waiting for the governor and secretary of state to sign off on the transfer.

Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee reported that since the bond for the jail passed this last fall, the population of the jail has dropped five to six occupants a day. That being said, plans for the jail are going well and progress has been made, with the most recent draft from the architect received this week. Along those lines, McNamee said the first five months of this fiscal year have been taxing, spending $125,000 of the $175,000 budget for room and board in the first five months.

?We could have an amendment coming toward the end of this budget year,? McNamee said.

Henry County Sheriff?s office is on the hunt for a new jailer and a deputy with two resignations occurring by the end of the year. However, the department is happy to report that deputy Scott Bells is graduating from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Wednesday, Dec. 13.

The department is also receiving a new transport car, which was being outfitted yesterday, and a new squad car will be in their possession within the month.

McNamee said calls for service from the Sheriff?s Office are up 900 from a year ago, which ?isn?t necessarily a good thing,? McNamee said. Henry County has had a lot of day time and nighttime burglaries recently. While teamwork between the prosecutor?s office, police department of Henry County and the Sheriffs? office has been ?increasingly better,? and a lot of these crimes have been solved, residents should make sure to lock their car doors and their homes, McNamee reminded.

In law enforcement related news, County Attorney Darin Stater updated the Supervisors on the status of the Michael Syperda case. Syperda was charged with murdering his estranged wife Elizabeth Syperda in the first degree in Mt. Pleasant in 2000. He was taken into custody in Colorado and awaits extradition to Iowa. Stater said they do not yet know when Syperda will be extradited, but that they ?will be spending a lot of 2018 dealing with that case.?