6/1/2017 4:27:00 PM Gov. signs state bonding bill, jail getting $3 million
The new Chisago County Law Enforcement Center project is slated in the state bonding bill to receive $3 million. The Corrections Department only got a handful of law enforcement related projects included in the bill and Chisago county’s facility was one of those.
Commissioners Mike Robinson and George McMahon and Sheriff Rick Duncan spearheaded the effort to secure state support. Robinson stated, “I would like to thank our newly elected legislators Anne Neu and Mark Koran for their leadership and support.”
McMahon noted there were many competing requests for state funding such as higher education, parks, flood projects, state facilities and transportation, and limited funds available. He too thanked local legislators for their advocacy.
Commissioner Ben Montzka called making the request part of the final bonding bill “...tremendous news... and the culmination of a four year effort to secure state support for ...mandates (jail standards).”
The new county jail and sheriff’s offices are under construction on the east side of Center City, at an estimated $24 million and are scheduled to be occupied and functioning in 2018. State Corrections officials had been working with the county for years to try to address programming and operational shortfalls in the current jail and the county has been expending hundreds of thousands of dollars to find room and board space elsewhere when inmate capacity was reached.
The land for the law enforcement center was bought several years ago and the new communications dispatch facility has been built and operating on the site.
The transition team is continuing to draft procedures and policy for the new facility, which will be given test runs hopefully by fall.
The construction management process does allow for some photos of this project to be posted and if readers wish, go to www.chisagocounty. us/984/LEC-Project.
County commissioners last week were introduced to a county administrative intern who is assisting the transition team at this time with furnishings and fixtures and cubicle design elements. The intern also gave a verbal budget committee update to the Board, as part of his hands-on learning opportunity while in pursuit of a public administration degree.
According to the latest financials the county budgeted $1.2 million in revenue from the half-percent sales tax enacted by the County Board, and the income is more in the range of $1.9 million.
The wheelage tax at $10 was also projected to provide $500,000 annually, and is tracking close to that.
The commissioners may review this tax sometime before or during August 2017-- when a decision on hiking it to $20 per vehicle has to be made to meet a state deadline.