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County To Ask Voters For $10.9 Million For Jail Expansion

The new Houghton County Jail addition will come with a price tag of at least $10.9 million .

That was the result of a cost estimate shared with the County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Project Architect Karin Cooper from U.P. Engineers & Architects broke the project down to about $8.5 million in construction cost, with $6.5 million for the jail addition, $891,000 in renovations to the existing jail, $433,000 in courthouse renovation, plus $300,000 for the demolition of the parking deck and $309,000 to build a new parking deck.

The rest of the costs include equipment, furnishings and contingency money.

The board voted unanimously to move forward with placing the proposal on the November ballot.

They will need to agree on the ballot language by their July meeting in order to meet an August 14th deadline by the state.

Though the final numbers still need to be determined, County Administrator Eric Forsberg said the proposal will include a millage starting at about .83 mills for 20 years.

The cost of the jail addition is more than the board expected but less than the proposed new jail in 2010 for about $15 million, which failed to pass by about a 3 to 1 margin.

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