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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

County board hears jail study report

The Cottonwood County Law Enforcement Center was under the microscope Tuesday at a regular meeting of the Cottonwood County Commissioners.

Jonathan Loose from Wold Architects and Engineers presented findings from a comprehensive study of space needs at the LEC, with specific emphasis on the county jail.

The current LEC has 22,920 usable square feet. After meeting with department heads and studying the facility, the estimated space needs at the LEC are 34,736 usable square feet.

Loose said a plan to expand the LEC to the west would help meet five major priorities while potentially adding up to 9,000 usable square feet. The downside is it would impact traffic flow and parking in the area.

The plan called for a 4,500 square foot addition on the main level, which also would add 4,500 square feet to the basement for a total of 9,000 square feet. Loose added that the addition could allow remodeling of other areas.

Main areas of concern for the project were an intake/booking area, jail support area, the addition of four new jail cells, a garage for squad vehicles and additional dispatch space.

The next steps in the process would be updating and confirming the recommendation to the board, developing cost estimates and discussing a timeframe and finances for a possible project.

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