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Houghton County Board Mulls Over Options For Jail Addition

There was more argument over the addition to the Houghton County Jail at the County Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday.

Compared to building a brand new jail, the board said adding new cells to the existing jail would save $10-15 million in construction costs.

There is still much disagreement on where the funds will come from.

A few members of the public stated that they would be in support of a new millage as opposed to taking the money from the Houghton County Medical Care Facility millage.

Commissioner Anton Pintar said that he does not think a millage would pass, but thinks there should be a decided renovation plan before taking it to a public vote.

The board is planning on putting the measure on a ballot for August of 2018.

Also at the meeting, the Houghton County Register of Deeds will soon be filing deeds and mortgages electronically.

County Clerk Jennifer Lorenz said everything to make this possible was free, thanks to the Fiddler Program.

Through the program, she saved the county $134,000.

On October 4th, there will be a “lunch and learn” session from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Houghton County Courthouse.

More information about this event will be available at a later date.

The new Houghton County Veteran’s Service Officer introduced himself at the County Commissioner’s meeting last night.

Joe Battisfore served 29 years in the U.S. Army and the National Guard.

He retired as a Master Sergeant. During his service, he was deployed two different times, to both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Battisfore said that with his new position, he would like to focus on reaching as many vets as he can, elderly veterans in the area and their spouses.

He also wants to do more outreach to veterans in Keweenaw County.

The Houghton County Road Commission has opened the discussion to sell their marina property.

According to County Commissioner Scott Ala, the appraisal for the land is $400,000, which would clear up all remaining debts on their new building.

The road commission is looking to terminate ownership simply because they do not use the land.

The county will more than likely have first dibs on the property, which contains 20 slips.

The population in Hancock Township recently rose ten percent.

The latest issue of the township’s magazine says the population grew more than any other community in the state of Michigan on a percentage basis.

Commissioner Tom Tikkanen congratulated the township and his 46 new constituents at the meeting last night.

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