Annexation for justice center project moving forward in Carlton County

The Carlton County board also certified a preliminary levy increase of 4.9%.

Carlton County Courthouse FILE.JPG
Carlton County Courthouse in Carlton. (Katie Rohman / 2019 file / Pine Journal)

The Carlton County Board of Commissioners approved a petition for orderly annexation for Carlton County’s planned justice center project at its meeting Monday, Sept. 27.

The county planned to build a new jail next to the Carlton County Courthouse after the Minnesota Department of Corrections set a sunset date of July 31, 2023, on the current facility. After that date the county can no longer hold inmates at the facility in Carlton.

Problems with building at the site emerged in April and the county began looking at a site next to the Carlton County Transportation Building on County Road 61. Due to a quirk in Minnesota law, county detention centers must be located within the city limits of the county seat.


  • Carlton County justice center cost estimates rise to more than $66 million Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Micheal Cuzzo encouraged the county to continue pursuing the project and offered his support in securing more money from the state.
  • Carlton County commissioners get up close look at sample jail cells The Twin Lakes Township Board of Supervisors and the Carlton City Council have both agreed to schedule public meetings regarding Carlton’s annexation of the preferred jail site near the transportation building.

The site on County Road 61 is located within Twin Lakes Township. The property does not need to be contiguous to the rest of Carlton.
In addition, since the county owns the 80-acre property, annexing it to the city of Carlton would not affect the tax bases of either jurisdiction.


County coordinator Dennis Genereau said the move by the county doesn’t finalize the annexation, it just indicates the county’s “desire to have an orderly annexation.”

The Carlton City Council and the Twin Lakes Township Board of Supervisors are planning a joint public information meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Transportation Building.

Board sets preliminary levy

The board also set its preliminary levy and budget during its meeting Monday.

The board unanimously voted to certify its preliminary levy with a 4.9% increase over 2021. As the county finalizes its budget for 2022, the levy can be adjusted down, but it cannot be raised.

In addition, the board voted to set its truth in taxation hearing for 6 p.m. Dec. 14 in the board room of the Carlton County Transportation Building on County Road 61. The board will make its 2022 budget and levy presentation during the meeting and the public can ask questions about the county's plans.

This article was updated at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, to correct jurisdictions participating in the joint public information meeting. It was originally posted at 4:19 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. The Pine Journal regrets the error.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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