Stearns County Commissioners are looking at 3 options for the future of the Stearns County Jail.  The two downtown options include building a 2-story building which would be an extension of where the current jail, is expanding to the west.  The 2nd option would be a 1-story building where acquiring the post office would be apart of that project.  This would also include closing off 2nd street while bringing 3rd street to 9th Avenue.  The post office would also need to relocate if the 2nd option is chosen.

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The 3rd option for the Stearns County Jail would be on the west side of St. Cloud across the Sauk River along County Road 75 near Fleet Farm.  That land would need to be annexed by the city of St. Cloud.  Joe Perske says the least expensive location would be the 3rd option on the west side of town coming in at $270 Million.

Perske indicates when the need for more jail space was talked about they were only talking about an expansion of the jail and that would be $80 to $90 Million.  He says that plan has now been expanded to include a completely new law enforcement center.

Pete Nyblom, TSM
Pete Nyblom, TSM

A decision on what to do with the court facility has not been made.  Perske says adding additional court rooms could cost an additional $30 to $40 Million.  He says they have a historic court building downtown already.

What question will appear on the ballot this November hasn't been made clear yet.  Stearns County voters will be faced with a decision as to what they'd like to do with the jail and law enforcement facilities this November.  Perske says a decision on what will appear on the ballot will be made within the coming months.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Joe Perske it is available below.



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