Sunday, April 9, 2017

The challenges of maintaining and funding Iowa's 99 courthouses in the face of declining population

Does Iowa need courthouses in all 99 counties.  (Des Moines Register, 4/7/2017)
But it pulled Karas away from her restaurant job to make the 35-minute trip east from her home in Indianola to the Marion County Courthouse. Warren County's Courthouse [built in 1939, a Public Works Administration project] has sat mostly empty for more than nine months, evacuated amid worries about mold, plumbing issues and other problems.

84 of 99 Iowa counties are losing population.
  • 13 of them more than 50% (purple)
  • 11 of them 40-49% (orange)
  • 15 of them 30-39% (yellow)

And Warren County, part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines metropolitan statistical area, continues to gain population.  Its population has more than doubled since 1960 -- from 20,829 to 48,626.

ISU analysis of census data shows that majority of Iowa communities are shrinking.  (Iowa State University, 5/27/2014)

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