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Scott Co. leaders react after opposition mounts over new juvenile detention center

Scott County Board of Supervisors met for the first time after a unanimous vote by the city of Davenport against building a new facility in the downtown area.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The growing opposition on an expanded Scott County Juvenile Detention Center found its way back into the county boardroom Thursday, Dec. 9.

Scott County Board of Supervisors met for the first time after a unanimous vote by the city of Davenport against building a new facility in the downtown area.

"It's no solution at all," board supervisor Ken Croken said.

"I'm not going to try to jam it down their throat," board supervisor John Maxwell said.

It's been at the center of discussions for months on whether to expand and move the juvenile detention center to a new location.

"I certainly believe that we should move forward with a center," Maxwell said.

"The numbers are simply not there to support an expansion," Croken said.

The current facility houses 18 beds and board members are pushing for a new building with at least 40 beds.

"Time is of the essence and every day that goes by where we've got juveniles away from Scott County, it's costing us money," Maxwell said.

"If we could arrest and jail our way to public safety, it would've worked by now," Croken said.

Davenport City Council made its voice heard Wednesday, Dec. 8. when Aldermen unanimously voted against placing a new juvenile detention center three blocks west of the Scott County Courthouse. 

However, the decision is in the hands of Scott County's supervisors.

"It's a very tangible reflection of the lack of taxpayer support," Croken said.

"I thought that that was a little premature," Maxwell said.

One resident told county supervisors Thursday, Dec. 9, this is not the right move.

"Locking kids up is not the answer," Davenport resident Mary Maher said.

The county would use federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding for the project.

"We don't know that that's the location," Maxwell said.

"That decision and that process should be made in a collaborative process with the city and neighborhood where this is being proposed," Croken said.

No timeline has been set on the plans.

"This whole process has been virtually done in secret," Croken said.

"They just don't want it in their backdoor," Maxwell said.

The facility would cost roughly $17 million. 

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