Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

New Jail option to be presented in August


BKV, the consulting group handling the architectural and engineering design for the proposed new Carlton County Jail, will present their recommendations in early August. Three options are being considered and the costs and impact on County programs will be detailed then.

Option 1:

*New jail building at the current government center site

*New government service center built at the transportation site (or possibly the Carlton School site, if that becomes available)

*Existing government center remodeled for justice services (Courts, County Attorney, Probation, Public Defender, etc.)

*Remodeling and reuse of the Law Enforcement Center and old jail to be reviewed for best utilization.

Option 2:

*New jail building at the current government center site, built to allow for new justice service areas to be added above the new jail

*Build out new justice services area

*Remodel the existing government center for county government services and possibly some justice services space

*Remodeling and reuse of the Law Enforcement Center and the old jail to be reviewed for best utilization

Option 3:

*New justice center built at the transportation site

*Remodel existing courthouse for government functions

*Remodeling and reuse of the Law Enforcement Center and old jail to be reviewed for best utilization

BKV has been hired for this early work at a contracted cost of up to $28,500 in a unanimous vote of the County Board. A County Jail Executive Committee is working with BKV before the Board presentation in early August.

Commissioner Gary Peterson asked, “Why study option 3 when currently there is not enough water and sewer capacity at the transportation site? Does that add cost to BKV services?”

County Attorney Lauri Ketola responded, “We will have one plan by August and that would all be covered by the current cost.”

The Carlton School District has not made a decision about the current high school campus but meetings have been held between County Board representatives and the school district.

In further action on the unfolding jail proposal, the County Board unanimously approved looking for an attorney specializing in bond financing and a Public Financing Service. Bond counsel is necessary to give independent advice to the County Board on these large possible bonding efforts. A Public Financing Service would provide “clear and accurate recommendations relating to the financing of . . . construction,” which would include the cost of a Barnum garage addition. Two public financial services have been interviewed at this time.

A representative from the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust, a pool of Minnesota counties that pool their insurance coverage, reported that Carlton County will receive a dividend of $185,842 for this last year’s coverage. Overall, insurance costs have gradually continued to go down.

The City of Cloquet requested, and the County Board agreed, to have the Cloquet November polling site in the old City Council Chambers, now owned by the County. Commissioner Tom Proulx asked, “Will we have the room available then?” He was assured that remodeling in the old City Hall will not yet impact that particular room in the complex.

Ed Barkos came out of retirement for the summer to work 340 hours as a Restorative Justice Social Worker to fill a position until a new social worker was hired. Barkos was hired as an independent contractor and will help train the new hire.

The Sheriff was given the authority to hire a replacement deputy and will use the list of applicants to use as an eligibility list for another possible retirement in the fall.


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