County begins process of jail expansion

Lincoln County’s jail could soon be expanded to handle three times its current capacity, if preliminary plans discussed last week can be brought to fruition.

Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe and members of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met Wednesday with Jim Muscovich, a representative of the Montana Assocation of Counties (MACO), to discuss current jail conditions and the feasibility of jail expansion.

Muscovich agreed there is ample space in the courthouse basement to accommodate the addition of up to 46 additional cells, but it would require relocating the Sheriff’s Office to new quarters.

The first step for the county is to find the funds to complete an engineering and architectural study. The study would also help map a construction plan that would ensure the facility’s compliance with state and federal jail standards and other regulations.

The commissioners have already begun to form an advisory group. The group will include local business people from the Libby, Troy, and Eureka areas. There will also be representation from the Board of Commissioners and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.