Rice County Jail Study Committee to Include Nine Members
The Rice County Board of Commissioners meeting as a Committee of the Whole today apparently appointed nine members to work on the jail study. Apparently because no formal vote was taken and more details will be discussed at the regular meeting of the county board.
Sheriff Troy Dunn suggested three members of his staff including himself, two commissioners, Administrator Sara Folsted, a buildings and grounds department representative.
Commissioner Jeff Docken suggested Steve Underdahl because of his construction background and Dave Miller. Docken said having the two Faribault commissioners on the committee seems to make sense because the jail would be located here.
Commissioner Galen Malecha of Northfield did not agree with Docken's assessment saying, "I 'm not saying I have to. Any commissioner can be and a decision will be made but my taxpayers are just as important as the commissioners in Faribault. It's not gonna be just the citizens of Faribault footing the bill on a new jail. So, Commissioner Docken your taxpayers will be paying their fair share as well so keep that in mind."
Docken said he understood where Malecha was coming from but, "I do realize that all (county) taxpayers are gonna pay for this but I look also at it as I guess if we had some huge agricultural project going on out in the country, why I think I would myself want to be involved in that because that's my end of things. I also would want Commissioner (Jake) Gillen to be involved in that because that's his end of things even though it's going to be everybody's taxpayer dollars. I think where it sits and everything is gonna be an important part to the city and how all that transpires.
"Once again there's no action going to be taken I guess. It'll be board action that any of the project goes forward." Docken added, " We still have our say as remaining commissioners."
Malecha will be an alternate in case Underdahl or Docken can't make a meeting.
Rice County Attorney John Fossum suggested a member of his office be on the committee pointing out there currently is no place in the courthouse for a grand jury to meet, "Grand juries have to proceed in secret. We can no longer do it at the courthouse and so the place we have landed on as a possibility is the public safety room in the LEC. That's a need that I think we can talk about, also whether or not there's the potential for other court facilities that could be included in this building. I think having representation from my office would be appropriate as well."
Members of the LEC/Jail Study Committee will include three representatives of the sheriff's office, Commissioners Underdahl and Miller with Malecha an alternate, a buildings and grounds representative, county attorney's office representative, the county administrator and county finance director.