Brown County commissioners approve building purchase for regional jail

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- It’s official. Brown County has approved a $4.5 million purchase agreement for the former Hub City, Inc. property on Industrial Avenue.

In a special meeting Friday morning, commissioners approved the purchase agreement for the property, which includes two platted lots — one for the main manufacturing plant and one for the office building and adjoining property. But, once the sale is complete the two lots will be re-platted with half of the office building lot deeded back to the Aberdeen Development Corp. for $1.

Rod Tobin, attorney for the Aberdeen Development Corp. said a two-part closing was initially proposed.

“The title company didn’t like the two-part closing,” he said.

Brown County agreed to purchase the building at 2914 and 2916 Industrial Ave. in early March with the intent of closing on the purchase by April 1. The goal is to use the building for the construction of a regional jail that will not only meet the jail needs of Brown County, but also surrounding counties.

The current jail is consistently at capacity, and while the county has agreements with 14 surrounding counties to house prisoners, those agreements are contingent on available space.

Commissioners approved the purchase agreement 4-1 with Commissioner Dennis Feickert opposed. While he didn’t comment on his opposition Friday, he made his opposition to the purchase clear at Tuesday’s commission meeting. That’s when the board was expected to approve the purchase agreement, but the agreement was tabled after Commissioner Doug Fjeldheim asked for the addition of language addressing utility easements and drainage, which have since been added.

Feickert discouraged the purchase Tuesday, questioning where the funds would come from for the renovation of the building for the jail, which could cost $20 million to $25 million.