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Portage County budget includes preliminary jail funding

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STEVENS POINT, Wis (WSAU) Portage County’s proposed budget includes some long-range planning money for a new county jail. That’s controversial because jail proposals have been rejected at referendum twice in recent years.

Some county board members continue to say more jail space is needed. The new budget allows for architectural studies for a new building or renovations and expansions to the existing jail. Any additional funding to move the project forward would need additional approvals. Portage County Executive Patti Drier has issued a statement saying she's opposed to that part of the budget.

The overall Portage County budget includes less state aid, and some savings from employee health care and retirement costs. The budget totals $105-million. The overall tax levy would decrease by about $200,000.

The budget was approved by the finance committee, and now moves on to the full country board.

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