Mqt. Co. Board discusses space needs study

Marquette County’s space needs were the focus at the Marquette County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night.

The board heard an update on three areas: the Marquette County Jail, the Marquette County Youth Home, and the Ishpeming Service Center.

One of the main issues discussed about jail and detention center is overcrowding.

A recommendation came to board about designing a jail build–out that would have an additional twelve beds for inmates.

“We can put this thing to rest finally instead of abandoning it like we have the detention center,” Marquette County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Debbie Pellow said.  “The detention center was supposed to be a temporary.  I don’t think it’s played out the way we wanted it to with the federal inmates…that’s another whole issue.”

“But I really think this plan is one that needs out top priority, based on numbers and based on the need.”

“What Commissioner Pellow is suggesting is fine, but I don’t think it’s fair to the judges or it’s fair to the Sheriff’s Department’s jail people to just close something without a plan,” Commissioner Paul Arsenault said.  “It needs to be an aggressive plan, it needs to move fast.”

“What I’m saying is by the time we get this built, we’re going to be right there again with the judges trying to look at basically who we’re going to keep in and who we’re going to keep out and back to that circle again,” Commissioner Greg Seppanen said.  “If we’re going to do a build-out, we’re going to have to look at a build-out that actually handles not only what we have now–which this doesn’t do as far as I can tell–and what we’re looking to in the future.”

The board did not approve hiring a consultant to see if the Ishpeming Service Center should be closed or consolidated.  Most of the commissioners agreed that the center is vital to western Marquette County.

To view the space needs study, click here.

The Ishpeming Hematites football team was honored at the meeting with two resolutions congratulating the team on winning the Division 7 State Football Championship.