After opposition from both community members and the City of Muskegon, Muskegon County’s Jail and Juvenile Transition Center Committee (JJTCC) has new options to consider regarding the location of a new jail and juvenile transition center.
After proposing the final recommendations for both the jail and juvenile center, the members of the JJTCC met with the City of Muskegon’s Planning Commission last week, when they were told the city did not want to vacate Pine Street, as was discussed with the jail plan. Instead of voting to not vacate the street, the city voted to table the discussion hoping that the county and city could come up with a different plan. The city was in favor of keeping the jail adjacent to the current Hall of Justice.
Members of the JJTCC also met with the Nelson Neighborhood Association and neighbors to discuss placing the juvenile transition center in the now closed Craig School. According to Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler, “very, very few people were in favor of locating the juvenile transition center in Craig School.”
Because of the opposition from both the city and the Nelson Neighborhood Association, the committee asked RQAW and Byce Engineering (the engineering firms tasked with planning and designing the jail and juvenile transition center) to come up with new plans that will please the groups.
At the JJTCC meeting on Thursday (Jan. 31), Joseph Mrak, senior vice president of RQAW, presented a new plan.
Mrak’s new plan includes moving the new portion of the jail further to the east than the original plan, which would locate it in the existing county staff parking lot. This would require either a tunnel under the street or an overhead connector from the proposed new part of the jail to the current jail and Hall of Justice.
Mrak stated that a tunnel would cost roughly $1.6-$1.7 million, but an additional $500,000-$550,000 to relocate the existing utilities. An overhead connector would cost $2.1-$2.2 million.
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