The executive committee of the Carlton County Justice Partners is pursuing talks with a design firm on what it would cost to have the firm do preliminary design work for a new jail.

BKV Group, an architecture design firm based in Minneapolis, has been working with the county on implementing recommendations from the 2017 jail study and has also provided some design advice without a fee, County Coordinator Dennis Genereau said. The CCJP wants to continue using those services.

“We ... feel that in order to receive the best services possible we should formalize the relationship we have with them with respect to preliminary design services for a jail and ancillary work that might be associated with that,” Genereau said to the Carlton county Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

The executive committee of the CCJP also includes Sheriff Kelly Lake, Jail Administrator Paul Coughlin and Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola.

The board approved the request to negotiate with BKV Group. Commissioner Tom Proulx voted against the request.

"I been voting consistently no because I haven't seen a price tag," Proulx said.

The CCJP will return to the board at a later date with cost estimates from BKV Group.