Results of public survey for future of the Beltrami County Jail released
The public comment period for citizens to provide feedback on the future of the Beltrami County Jail officially closed on Oct. 31, and the results have been shared by the county.
BEMIDJI — The public comment period for citizens to provide feedback on the future of the Beltrami County Jail officially closed on Oct. 31, and the results have been shared by the county.
Comments were submitted through a public survey that asked community members for feedback on the seven different options presented for the county jail and which ones they would be likely to support.
The options, which were the result of a feasibility study performed after the deteriorating conditions of the current jail were discovered, each have various advantages, disadvantages and costs.
The results of the public survey identified three of these options as the most favored, based on how likely respondents were to support them.
Building a new jail saw 235 responses indicating that they “probably would” or “definitely would” support the option. Expanding the current jail saw 212 people responding favorably, and building a regional jail saw 190 favorable responses.
The survey also sought feedback on the different potential funding sources for the jail project, including a local option sales tax.
Asked whether they would support this sales tax, 264 respondents said they were “very likely” or “likely” to support the option, and 86 said they were “unlikely” or “very unlikely” to support it.
Presented with a similar question about whether they would support an increase in property taxes, 205 said that they were “very unlikely” or “unlikely” to support it, and 134 said they were “likely” or “very likely” to support that funding option.
A final decision on which option will be pursued is expected to be made by the Beltrami County board in the coming weeks.