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Kewaunee County Board wrestles with jail bids

Bids for the proposed jail facility coming in at nearly $8 million over what was initially thought dominated the discussion at Wednesday’s Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors meeting.


Members of the Kewaunee County administration team and board of supervisors talked about the topic for roughly half of the two-hour meeting. Kewaunee County Finance Director Paul Kunesh laid out a number of scenarios where they could stomach the rising costs without endangering the county’s bond rating or sending them down dire straits with another major capital project for the Kewaunee County Highway Department looming in the future. It is possible that 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 the original $40 that was projected.


Supervisors asked for alternative scenarios that might be more financially pleasing such as renovating the current jail or sending inmates to other county facilities. Alternate scenarios and the cost associated with them were discussed at previous jail planning strategy meetings. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski asked the board at what point do they stop pushing this project into the future, adding that what they are doing in the current jail is “a crime” and “indefensible” according to a jail and justice analysis performed in 2016.


The Finance and the Jail Planning Strategy committees will discuss options moving forward at their next meeting on July 7th before the Kewaunee County Board meets again on July 18th.


You can watch the entire discussion below:


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Cheryl Jome

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