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Kewaunee County Jail project bids come in $7 million over

Kewaunee County officials are going to the drawing board to figure out how to pay for estimated cost overruns in the proposed Kewaunee County Jail project. The Joint Finance and Public Property and Jail Strategy Committee received the dire news last week that the project will potentially cost approximately $7.7 million more than what was originally expected. Even with the money from earned interest, payments from Dominion, and other dollars from the county’s general fund could help limit how much money is borrowed, approximately $3 million additional may need to be borrowed. If that occurs, taxpayers could see their contribution rise from 20 cents per $1,000 of property valuation to 35 cents. That would raise property tax bills by $70 a year over the next 20 years for a $200,000 home, up from the original $40 projected. It was explained to the committees what may have happened during the bidding process.

Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson said they should operate in facts, not in hysteria. He added that at some point, a county this size cannot support a project like this, suggesting that the over $7 million could address some of the glaring issues with the current jail.

Members of the committee are skeptical that they would get the necessary votes from the rest of the Kewaunee County Board to move the project forward. The Kewaunee County Finance and Public Property Committee will discuss jail financing options further at their meeting on June 28th at 5:30 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee, which will take place ahead of the full board meeting. 



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Cheryl Jome

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