What is wrong with Kitwin?

To the editor:

This is in regards about plans for a new jail temporarily on hold. However there are talks in play about purchasing new property off of Sharon Ave to build a larger facility.

The people of Houghton County have clearly spoken that they don’t want to spend money on new, when Camp Kitwin sits empty in Painesdale. Do the people go Houghton County realize that Camp Kitten was appraised for $75,000? That is for 84 acres and a building designed to house 240 inmates.

It has been stated by County Commissioners that the camp is not a suitable option. Why not? Have those questions ever been clearly answered? It was said by a commissioner that the building appears structurally sound but needs a new roof. Sheriff McClean also stated that substantial remodeling would need to be done as corrections officers would have a difficult time with observation under the current format which has two wings of 60 rooms per wing with 30 rooms on each side. What did they do before? Were all of the inmates unsupervised? It was also said that another costly issue would be the plumbing, including adding toilets to the rooms. Really? The cells? Did they have to let the inmates before out of their cells one at a time for bathroom breaks?

It has been said that additional staff would have to be added. Won’t additional staff have too added in a new facility? The idea of a new facility was to eliminate overcrowding and allow for expansion.

Sheriff McClean has said the jail has to be located in the County seat. Is Representative Markkanen suggesting something illegal in using Camp Kitwin? You would think not.

The sheriff has also said as far as a Regional Jail, how are families going to visit their loved ones. How do they visit them in State prisons? You figure it out.

I admit I don’t understand a lot of things but how can it possibly cost more to renovate a building that was designed to house 240 inmates then it is to purchase land and build a new multi-million dollar facility? I am old school and hate seeing money spent on new buildings when there are serviceable buildings empty.

Maybe Sheriff McClean should arrange an open house with the state and show the people why Camp Kitwin won’t work. I’m sure there would be an excellent turnout.

And if he doesn’t want to listen to what residents of Houghton County have made clear, then maybe this is a way to get himself not reelected.


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