ABERDEEN, SD (Dakota News Now) – A building that Brown County bought more than a year ago in hopes of building a regional jail is back on the market.
The Brown County Commission purchased the building at 2914 Industrial Ave. for $4.5 million and set a minimum of 40% of the funds to maintain the building until April 1, 2023.
With the deadline passed and no financial help from the state legislature, the county decided to sell the building.
“We’re still figuring out how to get rid of the building, whether it’s through sealed bids or a realtor or what process we’re going to use. We’re still waiting on legal advice,” said Brown County Commission Chairman Dwayne Sutton.
Although the project has been stopped, this does not solve the capacity problem. The current Brown County Jail has a permanent capacity of 48 inmates or more.
“We know the need is critical and it’s becoming more important every day to do something with our jail because we’re over capacity, we’re housing inmates out of town at a great cost to the taxpayers. Some of the jails we currently have in those inmates are going to fill up. So if we have to start transporting long distances to Colorado, it’s going to come at a very high cost,” Sutton said.
Brown County hopes to use funds from the sale of a building on Industrial Avenue that was formerly Hub City Inc.’s manufacturing facility to build a new facility in Aberdeen.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to get back from that building to offset the cost of the new jail. The smallest proposal we have so far is about an 80-bed facility. The Hub City building was designed to have about 200 beds. So it’s a very scaled-down version of what we were expecting, but at a much lower price point,” Sutton said.
Sutton said the Brown County Commission will have more solid plans for how they will sell the building on Industrial Avenue and what they can build for a new facility within the next 30 days.
“We actually see construction starting as early as this year if things come together the way we want them to,” Sutton said.
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