by April Scheinoha
Work continues on the justice center in Thief River Falls. At its meeting Tuesday, June 13, the Pennington County Board approved change orders related to the $18.3 million facility, which is slated to be completed in 2018.
Commissioners approved $132,401.32 in change orders. That amount also includes about $11,600 in cost savings after changes were made in cabinet pulls and the gauge of two metal panels.
Pete Filippi of the Contegrity Group said changes required by the State Plan review accounted for $112,468.30 of the change orders.
The majority of those required changes involved the need for additional fire/smoke dampers at the facility.
Since the justice center is a state-licensed facility, the state has the authority to review the justice center project. The State Plan review process was conducted last fall. At that time, approval was granted for the county to construct the footings and foundation of the building. The county has now been notified of items that need to be addressed as part of that process.
Other change orders pertained to the need for additional cameras as required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Commissioners approved posting internally the position of Pennington County Jail coordinator. Mitch Borneman is retiring Nov. 28 after nearly three decades with the county.
Sheriff Ray Kuznia asked commissioners to internally post the position since he would like the new jail coordinator to be trained by Borneman prior to his retirement. Kuznia indicated that Borneman coordinates with Sentence to Serve for some inmates and with other authorities regarding state inmates. He added that more programming will be offered at the new justice center, and he would also prefer for the new jail coordinator to be involved in discussions related to the new facility.
Kuznia further noted that if an internal candidate were hired for the position, that person would remain in his or her current position until Nov. 28. That individual would receive the same pay during that time frame, but the employee would receive training from Borneman related to his or her new position.