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      Marquette County Board deals with overcrowded jails

      Plans are in the works to close Mangum Farms as the Marquette County Board deals with overcrowding in their jails.

      The board has dealt with the issue of overcrowding since the jail was built in the mid 70's. Housing inmates at Mangum Farms in Chocolay Township was supposed to help alleviate the problem, but it's getting too expensive to operate. Closing it would free up money to expand the jail in Marquette. Between Mangum Farms and the jail in Marquette they can house about 140 inmates.

      A new jail would cost around 20 million dollars, a number the board says is too high. But the price tag for expanding the current jail is still substantial.

      "We're talking about 3.5 million dollars, that's just going in and trying to upgrade what we have now, so we're talking large figures in terms of what it's going to cost," said Greg Seppanen from the Marquette County Board. "So what we're trying to do is trying to find the most cost effective way to do it."

      Seppanen is part of a three person committee from the county board that's in the process of financial evaluations regarding the Marquette County Jail. The committee hopes to have a recommendation before the board in June or July.