Beltrami County Board votes to approve new jail site on Jefferson Ave. SW

The featured photo is a close-up of the Weibolt property, on Jefferson Ave. SW just before the Highway 2 bypass.

The Beltrami County Board voted to select the new jail site in a special meeting Wednesday.

After meeting in a closed session to discuss property negotiations, the commissioners announced the new $80 million jail will be built on Jefferson Avenue on the Wiebolt property.

A number of different factors went into the site selection criteria, such as site preparation costs, estimated utility connection costs, and impact on property tax revenues, both for the present and potentially in the future.

The property was ranked second in the metric rating various sites and the county offered $540,000 for it.

Administrator Tom Barry believes the county has a good case for requesting a rezone due to it being adjacent to other commercial zones.

The tax bill signed into law at the end of this legislative session included authorization for Beltrami County to put a local option sales tax on ballots this November.

The county board voted for a new 240-bed jail in November, after receiving annual violations from the Department of Corrections.

The DOC ordered reduced capacity for the current Beltrami County Jail in January.

The number of beds that will be constructed is largely due to the various classifications relating to an incarcerated person’s status, including mental health issues and substance use disorders, which limits correctional facilities on who can be placed with whom.

 


Larissa Donovan was the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016, through July 2023. She covered all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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