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Prison tour inspires more conversation for Kewaunee County Board

A road trip of seven Kewaunee County Board supervisors and two members of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department spurred more conversation Tuesday night about a potential new jail facility.

 

Sheriff Matt Joski thanked the traveling party of Aaron Augustian, Doug Doell, Joanne Lazansky, Joe Lukes, John Mastalir, Gary Paape, and Tom Romdenne of the Kewaunee County Board and Jason Veeser and Chris Vanerem of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department for making the trip to the Henry County Jail to tour the facility and ask questions for their own research. The Henry County Jail was built by Midwest Construction Consultants, which has built over 40 jails at an investment much lower than what Kewaunee County was facing with its doomed plan with Venture Architects and Venture Architects. The majority of the people who attended the tour felt that a similar facility and footprint could be feasible for Kewaunee County. Joski also used the opportunity to point out the list of changes the current jail would need to take steps to get closer to compliance.

Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson told the board that he was impressed with the facility and believes they could do something similar, but he does not think there is local cooperation to get something done. He even suggested that they make repairs to the current facility as a result of the stalemate. Much of the discussion centered around the number of beds the facility would have, with Olson and others pointing out that they do not want to be like Door and Oconto counties where many of their prisoners are from outside the area.

Olson says he will be requesting a contract from Midwest Construction Consultants for the board to approve at their meeting scheduled for October 17th. At that meeting, Kewaunee County will also hold its public hearing for its budget. The Jail Study Committee will also meet again on Friday to go into further detail about what they saw in Henry County and how they plan on moving forward.

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