Alger County moves foward with $2.6 million jail expansion

MUNISING — A $2.6 million jail expansion project is in its beginning stages in Alger County.

Earlier this week, the Alger County Board of Commissioners approved a project to expand the county jail in Munising.

Alger Jail Expansion

Photo courtesy: Alger County Sheriff’s Office. The jail expansion is about 8,700 square feet and would add 28 beds.

It would expand the jail by 28 beds and almost double size of the current facility by utilizing the parking area between the jail and the courthouse. The expansion project would allow the county to update many areas in the jail that are inefficient.

“The linear design, the heat loss going through a flat ceiling that’s pretty much lacking insulation…the plumbing issues that we’ve been having when plumbing breaks and how hard it is to get to it,” Alger County Sheriff Robert Hughes said.  “We’ve been identifying those types of problems for years, knowing we were going to have to look for something in the future.”

Luce County sends several of its own inmates to the Alger County Jail and pays Alger County to house them.

“They would like to expand that contract to house all of their inmates with us, which would increase our revenue,” Hughes said.  “Because we realized we could make some revenue off of housing other inmates, we thought we’d explore our options on an expansion project to see if we could possibly fund it.”

Sheriff Hughes said the project will be self-funded and taxes will not be increased. He said the county hopes to break ground this spring.

The Alger County Board of Commissioners will discuss the project on Thursday at 4 p.m.