Criminal justice committee weighs sites for new jailContinuing to regain its focus, the Douglas County Criminal Justice Development Committee (DCCJDC) met again Tuesday.
By: Erin Klegstad, Staff Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Continuing to regain its focus, the Douglas County Criminal Justice Development Committee (DCCJDC) met again Tuesday.
The committee is still concentrating on the first task at hand – land acquisition.
Several sites have continually been looked at and reviewed. A site matrix – a numerical point grading system – was also completed on each site.
“Rating looks at the positive and negatives of all the properties and weighs them against each other,” said Jason Murray, member of the jail site committee.
Although an 80-acre site – located near the intersection of Highway 27 West and Nevada Street – received the highest rating under the site matrix system, the DCCJDC believed that it just didn’t seem like the right location. Nearly half of the property is wetlands, which would make future expansion of a justice facility difficult.
Because of that, the jail site committee requested the DCCJDC’s permission to rate three additional potential properties, including the current downtown location.
Another piece of property being considered is roughly 80 acres located east of Alexandria on Pioneer Road. The property is currently listed with a realtor.
The third property is located west of the city limits and is owned by a private party.
Project architect, Scott Fettig with Klein McCarthy Architects & Co., will present the results of Phase II of the jail project at the October 11 county board meeting. That includes building and staffing costs, building options with possible floor plans and staffing plans.
However, because the county hasn’t made any decisions on a piece of property and how much to spend, it’s difficult for Fettig to present exact numbers and plans, said Bill Schalow, Douglas County coordinator.
The city of Alexandria would like to build a joint law enforcement center with Douglas County, but if action is not taken soon, it might have to consider other alternatives.
“We have to look for an alternative site if we don’t go with a joint LEC because of our growing police department,” said Dan Ness, mayor. “It’s bulging at the seams right now.”
Ness said that the city has looked at its own possible expansion site, but that it does “prefer to go together” with the county.