ST. CLOUD -- The Stearns County Board of Commissioners took their first step in deciding whether to renovate the current Law Enforcement Center or build a new jail.

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During Tuesday's special meeting, the board was presented the findings of a Master Space Planning Study. The study was last completed back in 2011.

According to the results, the Law Enforcement Center needs improved technology, security and mechanical systems. The jail has also been operating over capacity for the last seven years.

Based on projections, the consultants estimate a renovation of the jail would be about $39.5-million.

Commissioner Joe Perske suggested the possibility of keeping the current downtown location, while building a new facility.

Just the idea of it's possible to have two locations. One for processing and booking and a different locations that could be used for rehabilitation or a holding tank.

Stearns County Administrator Michael Williams says all options are on the table at the moment.

No action was taken. The Board of Commissioners will continue to work with the consulting group as they work to shape the needs of the county's jail facilities for the next 20-30 years.


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