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home : news : news
August 18, 2022

6/24/2022 2:41:00 PM
Site of old jail getting a clean-up

In May 2018 Chisago County moved inmates out of the old jail site on the edge of “commissioners’ alley” and into the new county jail, on the east side of Center City.  

The old jail has sat empty ever since.

Buyers/developers have had no stomach for razing the structures which are 750 square feet and three stories tall, and 12,160 square feet, built of concrete and two stories.

With no offers to review—last week’s  County Board action triggered moving forward on an engineering analysis to see what’s in  the structures and identify other hurdles that might pose challenges during demolition.  

An administrative annex was vacated years ago due to mold, difficult access and other issues.

The jail building has been subjected to waterline breaks, among other incidents.  

Commissioners are expecting a tough clean-up.   The known hazardous materials  and the site itself make demolition something that county employees alone are not likely to be assigned, according to County Administrator Chase Burnham.  The need for professionals is obvious.  

The analysis alone, based on a proposal from TKDA, is expensive.  Commissioner Chris DuBose said he’d like to see the overall complete maximum of $95,000 modified downward if the Board votes to move ahead (which it did.) Commissioner Marlys Dunne agreed, suggesting staff do whatever they are skilled to undertake to try and keep the price down.

The county is using American Recovery Program Aid for this long-deferred demolition so there’s no direct budget impact.  
Commissioner Ben Montzka said if there ever was a project that qualified for this it’s the old jail site. He stated, “This is something we have to get done for the good of the county.”

Center City officials will see a set of demolition plans and be asked to sign-off.

TKDA engineers have two city meetings included in their estimate in order to coordinate with the city.

TKDA feels that if all goes well, there could be a marketable empty site, on the lake, by summer 2023.



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