Mesa County awarded $1.5 million grant for jail expansion

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- It's no secret that the Mesa County Jail has become overcrowded, which is why Mesa County is working on a jail expansion.

But the biggest unknown to this point has been how they're going to pay for it, slated to cost is more than $20 million.

This week, the Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District (MCFMLD) board voted to award Mesa County with a $1.5 million grant for the jail.

The county has to officially accept the grant in a formal meeting.

This is the first time the county and the MCFMLD have been able to enter into a grant contract. It was previously thought that it would result in a deduction of payment by the federal government under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes law.

In January, the U.S. Department of Interior said that wasn't the case, which allowed for the county to make the grant request.

The MCFMLD says the jail meets all of their grant requirements.

"We're allowed to grant out money into public entities for three specific purposes...it's for construction, planning and for public services of our county," Dusti Reimer, grant administrator for MCFMLD, said. "Their request for a jail expansion meets almost all of the guidelines that we have on there."