Beltrami County votes to move forward with building a new jail

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners voted to approve option 5 for the jail project. This option is a 240-bed new county correctional facility.

The motion offered by Commissioner Craig Gaasvig also included directing staff to prepare the legislative application for a local-option sales tax.

This so-far proposed 0.625 percent sales tax could generate approximately $5.6 million a year, with the hypothetical $80 million bond requiring $5.3 million annual payments over 30 years.

The county board has not decided where they will construct the new jail but had some discussion on the scope.

Due to the various classifications of inmates and the high level of inmate needs such as mental health, additional beds could reduce some of the jail’s current annual violations, according to Jail Administrator Calandra Allen.

This was the first vote of many for this project, with the next vote expected at a December meeting offering a resolution in support of a sales tax that could be put to the voters as early as November 2023.

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