Plans moving ahead for jail project

ALPENA — Now that the millage request for a new jail in Alpena County has been approved, the second phase of the project is about to begin.

During Tuesday’s Alpena County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board voted to hire a consultant to help with the logistics involving the design, construction and transition phases of the project, the bid process.

The board hired Rod Miller of Community Resource Services of Gettysburg, Pa.

Miller will be paid $400 per day, or $50 an hour and $10,000 is budgeted for his services. The county also will pay for Miller’s travel and lodging expenses when he is needed in Alpena.

Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski said Miller worked with the jail committee and helped with the millage process and is highly recognized when it comes to the new jail and prison being planned and built.

“He is highly revered around the nation and internationally,” Kieliszewski said. “He will work with us every step of the way.”

A request for qualifications also was approved and will be issued to companies who will submit information and proposals. Kieliszewski said once a company is hired other jails will be researched to get an idea for what may or may not work locally.

“We’ll be going to various new jails around the state and maybe out of state to help us come up with ideas,” he said. “We’re hopeful the architect will be able to go with us, so they can look at what we like and don’t like and put that into the design of the institution itself.”

Early next year representatives from the National Institute of Corrections will be coming to Alpena to present a planning of new institutions class. Kieliszewski said that will help those involved get a better understanding of the designs for the new jail.

“It will help us to better understand blueprints and a ton of other things,” he said.

The commissioners also voted to set up a new jail committee of nine people. Commissioners Brad McRobert, Cam Habermehl and Bill Peterson, as well as Kieliszewski, Tony Suszek, Jail Administrator Scott Gagnon, Councilwoman Cindy Johnson, Lois Hall and Dan Hibner also will be on the committee.

In other business:

∫ the board voted to allow the road commission to reduce the number of monthly meetings from two to one. The day and time of the meeting has not been decided, but the change will go into affect for 2018.

∫ the board voted to approve the purchase of flooring for the clerk’s and treasurer’s office, as well as the commissioners conference rooms and offices. The cost for the flooring from Young’s Flooring will be $11,426. Habermehl said $20,000 for the project was budgeted and the bid came in much lower than expected. “It is almost half of what we thought it could be,” he said. “We got a really good deal.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.