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Kewaunee County Board gets last full jail briefing before July vote

The Kewaunee County Board will have a month before they have to make a decision on whether or not you will see a referendum on the fall ballot regarding the jail project. Most of the nearly 90-minute Kewaunee County Board meeting Tuesday night at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds was dedicated to the $25.6 million facility project.  Venture Architects and Samuels Group representatives presented the proposed floor plans and cost estimates. County administrative staff also gave information regarding the project's budgetary, debt, and tax implications. With help from existing county funds and American Rescue Plan Act dollars, the debt proceeds would be about $21 million. As a result, Kewaunee County residents would see their property tax bill rise by roughly $40 on a $200,000 home in exchange for replacing the state’s oldest and smallest county jail. Concerns about the fluctuating interest rates, surging construction costs, and other potential projects like the county highway shop were raised during the meeting by members of the public and board supervisors. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt and representatives from Venture Architects and Samuels Group offered reassurance about the work that has gone into the project concerning the numbers.

Supervisor Brian Patrycia brought up his constituents’ questions about why the new facility had to be built now, if at all. State Jail Inspector Nancy Thelen first complimented the jail staff before pointing out the building’s shortcomings.

Whether the board approves the project itself or sends it to the voters in the referendum, the measure must be approved by at least 15 Kewaunee County Board Supervisors. That meeting is scheduled for July 19th. In other business during the board meeting, David DePeau was appointed as Kewaunee County Corporation Counsel after Jeffrey Wisnicky was elected circuit court judge in April.

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