Settlement agreement complete

Brookings County photo: Brookings County on Oct. 2 held a groundbreaking for the jail expansion project that is now underway. Current and former county commissioners, local law enforcement, along with staff and citizens attended the event, with comments from Commission Chairperson Michael Bartley, Sheriff Marty Stanwick and architect Bruce Schwartzman from BKV Group. Pictured, from left, are Stanwick, Jail Administrator Bart Sweebe, Commissioner Ryan Krogman, Commission Department Director Stacy Steffensen, Commissioner Larry Jensen, former Commissioner Stephne Miller, Commissioner Lee Ann Pierce, Commissioner Angela Boersma and Bartley. The event took place north of the current jail location where the addition will be constructed.

BROOKINGS – With work now underway on project, City Attorney Steve Britzman gave the Brookings City Council an update on the settlement agreement for the Brookings County jail expansion during the council meeting Tuesday.

The council voted 5-2 in August to withdraw its appeal to the state Supreme Court regarding the detention center remodel and expansion, after a circuit judge in March ruled the project could move forward.

The city has completed all of the steps of its settlement agreement with the county, Britzman said.

“The primary objective of the settlement agreement was to establish some understandings with the county with respect to withdrawal of the appeal to the (state) Supreme Court. The appeal has been withdrawn,” Britzman said.

Another point of consideration in the agreement is the issuance of the building permit, which was issued in mid-September, and the construction project is moving forward, Britzman said.

“The impact of this decision has been submitted to the circuit court that issued the initial decision; we have not received a response at this point,” Britzman said.

The county is constructing the jail expansion, and the city fully expects the building will be constructed in conformity with the plans that have previously been submitted, he added.

The city and county have been cooperating since the appeal was withdrawn. 

“There’s been absolutely no friction or discord,” Britzman reported, “so we’re real pleased with the cooperative spirit.”

Councilor Nick Wendell said he appreciated Britzman bringing the settlement agreement back to the council.

“For those of you who have been following along, you might recall that the council was asked to take action and did approve this agreement without it being completed. And just a number of days later, then the county commission had to come to the same conclusion that they had an agreement before them, that it was attached to their public agenda,” Wendell said.

He said a public update was important because it’s been “a topic of interest in our community for a number of months,” Wendell said. Now the residents can “put eyes on what the finalized agreement looked like and what that language included.”

Wendell noted that the settlement agreement was attached to the agenda so everyone could read it.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]

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