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Committee makes progress on jail idea

A public meeting for the Douglas County Criminal Justice Development Committee (DCCJDC) took place at Douglas County Public Works on September 29.

Several members and guests were present, including representatives from Pope, Stevens and Todd counties, and State Representatives Torrey Westrom and Mary Ellen Otremba.

After Sheriff Bill Ingebrigtsen provided a brief history of the jail, the committee agreed to keep the public informed about the jail progress. Following each meeting, a press release will be available.

The Site Sub Committee, along with the Phase 1 architectural firm, are still in the process of selecting potential sites for the jail.

The committee recommended the county commissioners have town meetings in their respective districts as well as attend surrounding counties' town meetings to present information and answer questions.

To help generate ideas for a possible regional facility concept, surrounding counties were provided with a contract between two other Minnesota county jails to review before the next meeting.

Over the next few months, Westrom and Otremba will be researching optional funding resources. A judicial system representative will be attending a future meeting, presenting issues related to changes in state funding.

The next public DCCJDC meeting will take place at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27, at the Douglas County Public Works building in the lower level meeting room.