Houghton – A crowded jail is a difficult topic in an Upper Peninsula county.

The Daily Mining Gazette reports that voters for a third time have rejected a property tax to add more beds at the Houghton County jail. Local leaders had proposed an addition behind the courthouse that would have raised capacity to about 90 inmates.

The newspaper says the 28-bed jail is regularly over capacity. County Board Chairman Board Chairman Al Koskela says, “I guess we’ll have to start shipping them out.”

Koskela predicts that legalizing marijuana will “be a mess” and suggests more people could land in jail.

An $11 million, 20-year millage was narrowly defeated. County Commissioner Gretchen Janssen says officials need to ask the public about what’s needed to pass a jail millage.

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