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Future of old Alpena jail up in the air

News File Photo The Alpena County Jail is seen in this News file photo from August 2020.

ALPENA — In a month or so, inmates currently housed at the old jail in Alpena will be transferred to the new jail on M-32.

What becomes of the old jail after that is still up in the air, but on Tuesday, the Alpena County Board of Commissioners began discussion on the property’s future.

Based on conversation at the meeting, a majority of the board seems open to selling it, and some commissioners say they have been contacted about possible acquisitions.

The commissioners debated on the best way to sell the land. They could remove the building and sell it as land only, include the entire building, or break the old jail into sections and sell it.

After discussion, some on the board favored issuing a request for proposal for the sale of the old jail, and to auction off the old equipment and furniture that will remain after the move to the new facility is complete.

The building and grounds committee will continue to discuss the matter.

Commissioner Marty Thomson said he favors taking bids for the property.

“We need to have something that is fair so that anyone in the community has a shot at putting a bid in,” he said.

Kieliszewski said he will create a list of items — including shelves, cameras and desks — to leave behind at the old jail that could be used in an auction.

During the meeting, Kieliszewski told the commissioners the tours last weekend were a success and many people were impressed with the facility’s size, technology, and capabilities. He said after inmates are moved to the new jail, he would like to host tours at the old jail.

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