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Brule County South Dakota


Re: Brule County Jail

To the Residents of Brule County:

On April 14 and April 21, 2004 we published an article in the Central Dakota Times concerning the future of the Brule County jail. For those who have not seen the article, a copy may be obtained on the Brule County website ( (Sheriffs page) or from the County Auditor.

We scheduled time for public comments on the issue at meetings held on April 20,2004, May 4, May 18 and June 2, 2004. Bob Graff appeared at the meeting held May 4 2004 and explained his opinions on the matter. Jim Duvall, Don Meinen and Rod Reuer who are property owners in the area of the jail, appeared at subsequent meetings. In general, they opposed any plan to expand the jail at its present location, but were in favor of building a new jail somewhere else.

The Commissioners also received two letters from Brule County resident Alvin Reuer. His letters and the Commissioners responses may be obtained from the website or from the County Auditor. A few of you discussed the matter with Commissioners on a one-to-one basis.

Based upon input from residents so far, we have narrowed the options to two fix what we have by renovating the existing jail and plan to house only Brule County prisoners, or add an addition at the current site.

Building new at a different location would be more expensive initially than either of the two remaining options and would complicate the transportation of prisoners. There is little to indicate that the neighbors in a new location would be happier with a jail than the neighbors in the existing neighborhood.

We have calculated the costs involved in each option remaining. For those interested in struggling through the figures they are shown on the enclosed calculation sheet.

The bottom line is that for a taxpayer owning a $50,000.00 house, taxes will increase by an average of about $20.00 per year if the jail is fixed and about $26.00 per year if the jail is expanded and remodeled.

For a taxpayer owning a $70,000.00 quarter of land, taxes will increase by an average of about $29.00 per year if the jail is fixed and about $36.00 per year if the jail is expanded and remodeled.

If the jail is fixed resulting in a reduction in the number of prisoners that can be confined, there will be little, if any, chance of obtaining revenue from the jail to offset this cost. If the jail is expanded, it is a possibility but not a certainty, that revenue from the jail will offset a portion of the cost.

The Commissioners will make a decision on this matter at their meeting on July 6, 2004. Please contact them if you have input, submit written comments to the Auditor or attend the meeting.

Thank you for taking the time to review this letter and the enclosed information.

Brule County Commissioners

If you have any questions contact the Brule County Auditor 234-4430