Citizen committee formed to study justice center proposal

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Bowing to persistent public pressure over the past three months, the Swift County Board of Commissioners created a Community Perspective Committee to give it input on a proposed $17.48 million justice center.

The committee will have two people named from each of the five county commission districts. At their April 2 meeting, commissioners said they want all the names of potential committee members submitted by April 15 so they can appoint the representatives at their April 16 meeting.

A listing of the towns and township in each district is at the end of this story.

 If more than two people from a commission district apply, County Board Chair Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, said what he would look for was a variety in who is named - male, female; people for and
people against. “You do not want to stack this in one way at all,” he said.

At its Feb. 5 meeting, the county board approved a $162,000 study of a justice center schematic design that give a more detailed cost for the project. It has been estimated that building the new justice center would cost near $30 million when the interest payments are included.

The proposed two-story 38,000 square foot building on the west side of the courthouse would house a new Swift County Sheriff’s Office, an expanded jail, human services, 6W Community Corrections, the county attorney’s office and Restorative Practices.

Commissioners Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, Rudningen, and Peterson, voted in favor of conducting the study and are supporters of constructing the justice center.

Commissioners Ed Pederson, District 2-north Benson and Benson Township, and Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, voted against conducting the study and are opposed to the justice center.

Wold Architects and Engineers of St. Paul is studying some of the “open design questions that would benefit from continuing to the next phase of design.”...

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