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.

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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.