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Commissioners approve ballot language for jail millage

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on August 11, 2017 – 12:44 amNo Comment

Alpena county voters will be asked to support a millage for a new jail and jail operations when they head to the polls in November.

Commissioners approved the ballot language during a special board meeting Thursday morning.

The county is asking for 1 mil over 20 years.  The millage would generate an estimated $19.6 million over that timeframe, of which an estimated $10.85 million would be used for the jail.  Another approximately $4.6 million would cover the estimated bond interest, leaving $4.14 million for operations, furnishings and other needed jail equipment.

Commissioners say it would cost more to operate a new, larger 106-bed jail and it would require more manpower.  The county doesn’t need to ask for a full 1 mill each year if commissioners choose not to collect for operations, for example.

If the millage passes it would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 property, $50 a year.

If the millage is approved, the new sheriff’s office and jail will be built on airport property off M-32, east of the terminal building and runways.  The county still needs to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and there will likely be wetland issues that need to be addressed as well.

If the millage passes and everything else falls into place, construction could begin in 2018.

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