Muskegon County Commissioners Authorize Bond Sale, Investigate Parking at Jail Site

Andrew Trzaska | July 16, 2013

Muskegon county commissioners set guidelines Tuesday for a future bond sale that will fund the county’s new jail and juvenile detention center.

In an 8-0 vote, the county board authorized the issuance of bonds “in the principal amount of not-to-exceed forty ($40) million in total, according to county documents.

$34 million of the General Obligation Limited Tax bonds will be used for construction. The remaining $6 million up to the cap would be used for interest and other financing costs.

County administrators will have the ability “to select investment banking firms to negotiate the sale of the bonds, and to sell the bonds within the parameters set forth in the Resolution.”

At this stage, bonds will be sold on a market at a to-be-determined time several weeks from now. The county may not get the full $40 million off this bond sale, depending on market demand.

As the architect continues to develop plans for the jail, the board also approved a $38,380 “analysis and modification” contract to local engineering firm Westshore Consulting at Tuesday’s meeting. The company will work with the jail plan’s architects to see if it can reconfigure the parking lot to eliminate parking under the building.

Commissioner Bob Scolnik said he only learned of the parking lot analysis at the last minute. Commissioner Ben Cross concurred on learning at the last minute.

Scolnik mostly worried about what the study would do to the overall size of the lot. As it stands, placing the new jail addition on the main Hall of Justice parking lot will reduce the number of spots by several dozen.

“I’m worried because we’re going from 200 spaces to 155,” said Scolnik.

County administrator Bonnie Hammersley said that county staff felt there would be plenty of parking in the lot plus more across the street. Parking across Pine will be at the site of the now-defunct Pine Street Antique Mall, as the county’s current parking lot is set to host the county’s new juvenile detention center.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst