Engineer offers to buy courthouse in Keokuk

Photo: Lee County Courthouse, South (Courtesy: Flickr Michael Allen)
Photo: Lee County Courthouse, South (Courtesy: Flickr Michael Allen)

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — A retired civil engineer is offering to buy one of Lee County’s two courthouses if voters next month approve a bond issue to pay for a new, centralized courthouse.

The Hawk Eye reports (http://bit.ly/2eJZJSH ) David Barrett, a retired engineer who now serves as a Methodist pastor, wrote a letter to the county Board of Supervisors outlining his plan to buy the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk. He would turn the brick courthouse into upscale apartments, possibly with some office space.

Some who oppose consolidating Lee County’s two courthouses into one new facility have questioned what to do with the current buildings in Keokuk and Fort Madison. If Barrett’s plan works, it could resolve the use of the Keokuk site.

The $8.5 million bond is on the Nov. 8 ballot.

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