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Crow Wing Co. Sheriff's Office In 4-phase Remodel

The gray stucco Law Enforcement Center along Laurel Street since it was built in 1979 in Brainerd is undergoing major renovation. Renovating the LEC -- which consists of 26,400 square feet of space and hosts the operations of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, including the 911 dispatch center -- is undergoing four phases over a five-year period at an estimated $4.45 million cost. Crow Wing County Finance Director Jason Rausch said the renovations will be paid through the county’s capital improvement project funds. The county has a capital improvement plan, and the Crow Wing County Board votes on what projects get funded each year. Rausch said the county agreed to do the renovation project in phases because of limited funding. He said breaking the project up in phases makes it affordable. The county board in December of 2012 nixed the idea of building a new LEC at $15 million because of the cost. The county began the capital project in 2016, when the design and plans were drawn up, and construction began this year. The first phase is nearing completion and the fourth phase is expected to be complete by 2020. Capt. Scott Goddard of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office said when the public enters the LEC, there will be a narrow entrance for them to walk into the lobby for assistance. People will see construction and plastic tarps blocking the stairway, where work is underway. Goddard suggests people to call the LEC first if possible to see if they can get their questions answered before coming in, because of the construction work zone. The LEC was closed Monday and Tuesday because of construction. The sheriff’s office will update the public on any future closings of the lobby during the construction period. Goddard said he was happy to report the more spacious and advanced 911 dispatch center is complete. The dispatch center, which was once located on the main floor of the LEC, now is downstairs. It replaces the space where Crow Wing County used to house its jail inmates. The old jail was used for almost 30 years before the county built the new jail located in the Crow Wing County Judicial Center across the street.