The Sherburne County Jail has had lots of inmates over the years, and each one of them has to be provided meals each day.
Tuesday, Sheriff Joel Brott said the kitchen that has been preparing those meals over the years needs to be replaced.
The kitchen was installed in 1998 during a jail expansion project that added 176 beds. Brott says the old equipment is in need of constant repair and service to keep operational.
“We’ve gotten a lot of use out of the kitchen. It’s in desperate need of replacement,” he told members of the county board during a workshop Tuesday. “It’s been patched, rewired and welded. It’s taken quite a beating over the years.”
Brott said he spoke with the maintenance department to get an idea of how many times they’ve made repairs and called in vendors for repairs.
“It’s been about 60 times in just over a year that they’ve come in to try to patch the equipment back together,” he said.
The jail has had different number of inmates over the years. It currently houses about 500 inmates. Brott said he went back and calculated the number of meals served using the daily inmate population.
“If we take the daily population of inmates - breakfast, lunch and supper, times that by 365 days and times that by 16 years, from 1998 to present over six and a half million meals have passed through that kitchen during that time span,” he said.
Brott said the department had an architect and general contract review a schematic drawing of the proposed changes. It includes electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.
“They were comfortable that it would meet our needs,” he said.
Administrator Steve Taylor said since the estimated cost is over $100,000, the project would require a sealed bid process.
Brott said he would review the statute and move ahead with the bid process if required.
The project would be funded through the Jail Enterprise Fund. Brott said he expected the replacement to take place this spring or summer.
In other action the board:
• Approved a one-year contact with the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections for prosecution services for actions arising at the St. Cloud Reformatory;
• Approved a professional services agreement with the Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board where the county will provide administrative duties at a cost of $36,000;
• Approved the creation of an Emergency Services Radiological Planner and Radio Coordinator position, with funds provided by the Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board contract;
• Passed a resolution approving the platting of existing right-of-way on part of Co. Rd. 4 between Co. Rd. 15 and Hwy. 169;
• Proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.