Beltrami County Board lists legislative priorities to local legislators

The Beltrami County Board met with regional state representatives to discuss some of the legislative priorities for this session during their meetings Tuesday.

The Jail project continues to be a driver of much county discussion, with an estimated $80 million new facility approved last November that would increase inmate capacity.

The board and county staff members presented the 13 legislative priorities to Representatives Matt Bliss and Matt Grossell, including plans to request a local option sales tax and bonding dollars to fund the jail project.

Other legislative priorities include issues around transportation funding, mental health, child care, and health and human services unfunded mandates.

The board approved a contract with Flaherty & Hood to act on the county’s behalf in St. Paul as a government relations specialist.

The board also approved new people and alternates to the various jail committees, such as Sheriff Jason Riggs as the chair of the Jail Steering Committee and Chief Deputy Jarrett Walton appointed as the alternate.

In an update on the jail project, construction engineer and project planner Ben Mattson said they anticipate a groundbreaking in the Spring of 2025 and the project would take about 18 months to complete.

The placement of the new jail is expected to be decided in the next design phase of the project.


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