Martin County Commissioners Review Draft to Senators for Justice Center Funding

The Martin County Commissioners considered a letter of support for the County’s request for senate congressional directed spending for the proposed Public Safety and Justice Center during its meeting on Tuesday.  As part of previous board action to pursue federal funding through the senate congressional directed spending request in the amount of $3.5 million for the proposed Justice Center, the board was asked to provide a letter of support for the County’s application.

The board reviewed a draft to Senators Klobuchar and Smith, which outlines the need for a new jail facility and several services, including mental health.  It also touched on the impact to taxpayers from the amount it costs to transport inmates to facilities that can better care for them.

A portion of the draft stated that without state bonding, funding the entire $38.9 million facility could require up to approximately 5 to 6 percent property tax increase on county residents and agricultural operations.

Commissioner Elliot Belgard asked that the word “regional” be added in, as that’s what the facility would be and it would help their chances of getting funding.

The commissioners authorized the board chair to sign the letter of support for the congressional spending request.  Commissioner Kathy Smith said that additional signatures of support from key people in the county, such as mayors and Police Chiefs can be obtained before the letter is due on April 15th.