Donation funds sheriff substation in Afton

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Washington County sheriff deputies will have a permanent office in Afton next year thanks to a generous donation from a resident who died nearly a decade ago.

The department received more than $100,000 from longtime resident Margo Forrest following her death in 2008.

In addition to the new building, about $2,000 from the total $101,191 Forrest bequeathed funded a new CPR device for the fire department.

Deputies assigned to Afton currently work out of the Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department.

The new building will house an office and garage space for squad cars.

Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry said his office expects construction on the new building in early 2018.

Although Starry credited the fire department as "wonderful partners" during the time they shared a space, the new building will offer more opportunities like parking squad cars indoors.

"It allows our deputies to have workable space so they will respond to the city, which they do now, but they'll work their entire shift there and leave from there," Starry said.

Afton City Administrator Ronald Moorse said the building's location near city hall will bolster the city's working relationship with deputies.

"That will make it easy for them to stop in and keep us up to speed on what's going on and we can keep them up to speed with them just next door," Moorse said. "We've looked at several locations and we've worked with the city of Afton and this was a natural fit."