New jails and justice centers coming along in Itasca, Carlton counties, with funding choice on the ballot

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Construction began on the new justice center in Carlton County a couple of months ago.

“Right now, they’re putting in the foundations. The weather has been incredibly helpful, and we’re a little ahead of schedule, which we’re happy about,” shared Carlton County Coordinator Dennis Genereau.

And work is really coming along on the Itasca County Justice Center in Grand Rapids.

“We are fortunate that construction is both on time and on budget,” shared Itasca County Administrator Brett Skyles.

Both are due to the current jail facilities aging out of compliance, so the state said they would no longer be usable.

And both could be funded by a sales tax, instead of straight property taxes.

“We know it’s not the best time to be asking for more money, due to inflation. But it’s either this sales tax, or property taxes,” Genereau added.

Carlton’s would be 1/2 a cent, or 1/2 percent. “So if you spend $100 on something, it would be $.50,” explained Genereau. They also have a 1/2 cent sales tax dedicated to roads already.

In Itasca County it would be a 1% sales tax.

Voters will go to the polls and decide about the taxes on election day. The question needs a simple majority to pass.

For the latest info about the Carlton County project, and frequently asked questions, head to the website:

And here’s the one for Itasca County: