The Carlton County Board of Commissioners has voted to approve a contract with Boarman, Kroos and Vogel Group to develop additional data and analysis in conjunction with the completed jail study.

BKV will develop the three options introduced in a previous meeting as possible locations for a new jail and criminal justice facility. The new information, combined with the completed study, will help assess which of the three locations best fits the long-term vision for the facility.

The three options will be presented as general concept plans. A detailed finished plan won't be completed until a final site for the building is chosen.

During the meeting Tuesday, June 25, District 5 Commissioner Gary Peterson expressed concern about paying for the contract to include three sites when one doesn't provide adequate water supply to support a new facility.

The Carlton County Transportation Building is on the list for the proposed water line project that is currently seeking funding options.

According to Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola, BKV has already been working on some of the items listed in the contract without the contract.

“They have gone above and beyond what was asked from them in the 2018 contract,” she said.

Ketola said BKV is bridging the gap between the end of the study and the request for proposal.

BKV will compile a spreadsheet for each department in the county to review current and projected staffing and space needs for the next 15 years.

The concept planning will include adequate department space, operation flow and security for each of the following options:

Option 1

  • New jail building at the current location.

  • New government service center built at the transportation site (or possibly for the Carlton High School site if that becomes available.)

  • Existing government center remodeled for justices services, including the courts, county attorney, probation, public defender, etc.

  • The remodel and reuse of the LEC and old jail to be reviewed to see how it can be best utilized.

Option 2

  • A new jail building at the current site with the possibility of a new justice service area to be added above the jail.

  • Build out new justice services area.

  • Remodel existing government center for county government services and possible justice service space.

  • Remodel and reuse the LEC and old jail to be reviewed for best utilization.

Option 3

  • New justice center built at the Carlton County Transportation site.

  • Remodel existing courthouse for government functions.

  • Remodel and reuse LEC and old jail to be reviewed for best utilization.

BKV will draft a list of pros and cons for each of the options as well as detailed cost estimates. The estimates will include costs associated with moving the utilities to the new location.

A timeline of the steps for the proposed projects will also be presented to the board.

The fees listed in the contract total $28,500, which includes a $4,000 fee for travel and printing. BKV will invoice monthly for the actual costs incurred and not include any markups.

BKV will provide the findings and look for a recommendation from the board in August.

“We are just doing our due diligence,” Sheriff Kelly Lake said.

The board also voted to allow the Jail Executive Committee to publish an RFP for bond counsel to offer legal advice and guidance on all matters relating to bonding for a new jail building.

Ketola informed the commissioners that she was advised it is in the county's best interest to hire legal counsel who specializes in bonding to help them through the process.

District 3 Commissioner Tom Proulx did not vote either way, nor did he abstain.

“Taxpayers are struggling and I want them to know I hear them loud and clear,” Proulx said after the meeting.