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The County Jail

To the editor:

Vernon LeBlanc’s letter Wednesday past regarding the answer to building a new County Jail is so logical it hurts e.g. leave the current facilities in place and use the jail as a holding tank to house a prisoner until he is sentenced and then ship him to a rebuilt Camp Kitwin to do his sentence.This would surely save the County Tax Payers millions of dollars in construction costs 

And then there is another option which has yet to be considered in the mix. It is understood the original plan for the present jail which was built in 1962 included provision for future expansion by adding two stories onto the current building with a walk-over from the second floor to the Courthouse to ensure security of prisoners. The possibility of adopting this plan to meet current needs was raised at a meeting and it was peremptorily dismissed with the reply that the current building’s footings were not strong enough to support the weight of two more floors; and the discussion moved on. Really? Surely the engineers made provision for that extra weight in the original plan. In any case with the strong  lightweight construction materials now available weight should not be a problem. Wouldn’t this plan be much cheaper than a completely new structure?

Currently Houghton County is paid to house inmates from both Keweenaw and Baraga counties. Why?  Surely this arrangement contributes to the overcrowding of our Jail. If so the answer to the problem is obvious!  Are cells provided in current plans to house prisoners from these counties? If so, why? It all adds to the taxpayers’ costs. 

Surely Mr. LeBlanc’s suggestion and the points noted above are worthy of further Public consideration.