Flathead County Commission Axes Plan To Relocate Jail To Columbia Falls

Oct 10, 2017

Flathead County Commissioners voted unanimously today not to relocate the county’s overcrowded jail to property owned by the Weyerhaeuser Company in Columbia Falls. 

The commission had previously agreed to a purchase price of $2.6 million for the Cedar Palace office building and two-dozen acres of land northwest of Columbia Falls to house the Sheriff’s office and a new jail building. The commission reversed course after Columbia Falls residents voiced strong opposition at community meetings over the past month and a half.

Commissioner Philip Mitchell joined the commission meeting by phone Tuesday morning.

"We need more time, and we need to do more diligence and see where we end up," Mitchell said. "Right now we don't see where this could work out for the moment."

The county’s current jail in Kalispell was built in 1984 with 64 beds, and recently renovated to hold 164 inmates as a temporary fix.

Flathead County Commissioners are considering county properties in Kalispell for potential jail relocation.