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Overdue jail annex could open in September

From staff reports

WINONA -- A jail annex that was scheduled to be ready more than a year ago most likely will open in September, Winona County officials said.

Construction of an addition to the Winona County jail, in the basement of the current jail, was delayed by lead contamination and by difficulty hiring and training new staff.

The annex will require eight full-time jailers, five shift commanders and three detention officers, said county personnel director Maureen Holte.

At least one county commissioner isn't happy with the delays. The county spent more than $463,000 last year to house prisoners in other counties.

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"I'm really disgusted with it," commissioner Jerry Heim said. "They should have had their training three months ago and had prisoners there by now."

Jerry Obieglo, the deputy in charge of training, told commissioners at a board meeting Tuesday that the department wasn't happy about the delays either.

"We share your frustration," Obieglo said.

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