Issues discussed in Mqt. Co. space needs study update

The Marquette County Board of Commissioners heard an update on the county’s space needs study at its meeting Tuesday night.

Three areas of Marquette County may be affected by the study: the District Court in Ishpeming, the Marquette County Youth Home, and the Marquette County Jail.

Both district court branches were approved for new video recording equipment, worth just over $29,000 at the meeting, regardless of the future of the Ishpeming branch.

“We’re looking at multiple factors,” Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch said.  “We’re looking at the Ishpeming District Court operations and whether we continue that operation.”

“And if we do decide that it’s not prudent to continue that, what are the impacts here (in Marquette) locally at this operation, what would need to continue versus what would discontinue.”

Erbisch added the jail has overcrowding issues, and the county is looking into options to solve the problem.

“What can you afford, and what makes sense if you’re going to do an expansion on the jail,” Erbisch said.  “It (an expansion) maybe gets you out a few years beyond of what your current need is.  Can you afford that?  And then what alternatives you might have because paying for that (an expansion) you might have to look at additional (funds)…Where do you pull the dollars from internally?”

The board will receive a recommendation on the three subjects sometime this year.

In other news at the meeting, County Treasurer Anne Giroux, County Board Commissioner Paul Arsenault and Lance Lindberg were all re-appointed to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

The commission also said they gave the Marquette County Planning Commission information regarding the low water levels at Martin Lake to try and get answers on the issue.