Kudos to county residents for letting your voices be heardIn the past week, people in Carlton County raised their voices – and they were heard. First, the 800 medium security prisoners in Moose Lake will stay there, at least for now.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
In the past week, people in Carlton County raised their voices – and they were heard. First, the 800 medium security prisoners in Moose Lake will stay there, at least for now.
The legislative bill that sought to transfer the prisoners from the state-run Moose Lake facility to a private one in southwestern Minnesota was removed from the legislative committee agenda last week until “further notice.”
That also means the second phase of expansion on the existing Minnesota Sex Offender Program facility in Moose Lake is still on the table.
Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, who co-authored the bill, said the feedback he received from corrections employees and others definitely influenced his decision to table the bill.
Second, the Minnesota Department of Human Services’s Chemical Addiction Program in Carlton (CARE), formerly Liberalis, has been given a reprieve after word came suddenly a few weeks ago that the operation would close at the end of March.
Instead, the all-female facility will remain open for six more months and longer if they meet goals set at a meeting last week.
County officials were especially appalled at the decision to close the program, since they have invested almost $250,000 since its inception, according to Pat Oman, Carlton County economic development director.
“The state heard the message from many people in the county loud and clear,” Oman said about keeping the program.
Last, but certainly not least, Carlton County residents came through in donating enough money to get The Salvation Army of Carlton County $27,000 to help newly unemployed community members pay for gas, food, utilities and other basic needs.
And they did it in a very short amount of time as the grant funds only became available with about a week left before the deadline. Area residents responded in droves and raised some $9,000 which assured “matching grant funds” of $18,000 from The Salvation Army Central Territory.
Bravo, Carlton County residents!