Yellow Medicine County looking to expand jail; facility opened in 2002
GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine County is studying the possibility of expanding its 40-bed jail, which was first opened in the spring of 2002. The Yellow Medicine County board of commissioners instructed project architect Vetter Johnson at their...
GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine County is studying the possibility of expanding its 40-bed jail, which was first opened in the spring of 2002.
The Yellow Medicine County board of commissioners instructed project architect Vetter Johnson at their meeting on Tuesday to focus on plans for expanding the jail.
The architectural firm was previously retained by the county to look at expanding the jail, as well as developing office space for the county attorney and possibly new courtroom space. The commissioners decided Tuesday to instruct the architect to focus on the jail expansion only at this time, according to John Chattin, county administrator.
To meet the space needs of the county attorney, the commissioners instructed that negotiations continue with the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital to lease space in a new dental clinic building. The hospital-owned building was recently erected and has vacant space available.
County Attorney Keith Helgeson and his staff are currently located in the commissioner's former board room in the courthouse.
The county has been discussing the possibility of expanding its jail for two years.
The facility includes a 20-bed, dormitory area for inmates with work release privileges. Security concerns associated with housing that many inmates in one area has led the county to look at replacing the dormitory area with separate cells, Chattin explained.
The facility continues to see full occupancy and projections include a continued rise in demand for jail space. Along with replacing the dormitory area, Vetters Johnson will look at possibly expanding the jail to offer more than 40 beds. Discussions have included the possibility of expanding to over 60-beds by adding cells that allow for double bunking.
Jail Administrator Kathy Busack said the architects are in the early stages of examining the county's options. They hope to offer a preliminary proposal on an expansion and the possible number of beds to the commissioners in a few weeks time, she said.