Brookings City Council withdraws appeal over jail expansion

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KJJQ) – The Brookings City Council voted 5-2 to withdraw their state supreme court appeal over the Brookings County jail expansion.

In March, a circuit court judge ruled in favor of Brookings County and said a planned jail expansion may move forward. He ruled the City of Brookings was mistaken in its judgement and the county is not required to obtain a building permit from the city for a jail. The state Historical Society and local Historic Preservation Commission oppose the expansion.

The Council in April voted to appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

City Attorney Steve Britzman (brights-mun) says they will enter a settlement with Brookings County.

The City has spent about $73,000 in legal fees on the original court battle and appeal. Council Member Nick Wendell says they should see it through to a Supreme Court decision.

Council Member Joey Collins says the appeal has cost the taxpayers far more than legal fees.

The county opened bids for the project last month and they total just under $15 million with another estimated $2 million for soft costs.