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Sheriff asks for unity as jail search continues

Throughout all the 2013 meetings on a new Pierce County Jail, one important voice in the matter was largely quiet. 

In one of the first 2014 meetings Wednesday, Sheriff Nancy Hove spoke publicly on a number of matters pertaining to the jail.

“I was asked to stay away from the first Ad Hoc so I wouldn’t taint the group,” Hove said, as the second Ad Hoc group held its final meeting. “But I feel we need to come together as a group to build a jail that is going to work for the Pierce County pocketbook and its employees.”

Hove, who said during her speech she owns two houses in the county, understands the effect the costs will have on a taxpayer. However, she felt she had to speak publicly because the dollar bill is having too much of a say.

“The first group did an excellent job, but freezing a certain number for square footage, I don’t understand it,” she said. As a result, she believes important items are being cut out due to the square footage limitations which could lead to someone getting hurt.

The first Ad Hoc committee recommended a 27,500 square foot jail. When Potter Lawson, the architect firm the second Ad Hoc committee hired, drew up a jail that was over 40,000 square feet, the committee, especially Jerry Kosin, ordered them to draw up a jail closer to the 27,500 figure. Potter Lawson came back with 32,500, which seems to have smoothed the waters, for now.

Another one of Hove’s issues was the 27,500 figure was tabulated by five people--with only one who had worked in a jail--Marvin Wilson, the consultant hired by the first Ad Hoc committee.

“This jail is getting built by people who have never worked a day in the jail,” she said. She replied, when asked, her favorite locations for the new building would be south of the gas main, and northwest of the solid waste department and the county forest.

For more please read the Jan. 22 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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