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Jail bid sent to committee for review

Decision needs to be made by bid-whole date later this month

The Jessamine County Fiscal Court heard a final jail bid Friday, which after some brief discussion was voted to be sent to the jail committee for review and recommendation before the bid whole date of Dec. 17.

The motion was made by Magistrate Terry Meckstroth and second by Tim Vaughn. The motion passed with Justin Ray and Gary Morgan both voting in favor. Paul Floyd voted against the motion, with Magistrate April Rose Prather not present for the meeting.

“The fiscal court needs to make a decision,” Jessamine County Jailer Jon Sallee said.  “The information has been put in front of them, but we will put it in front of the committee again so they can make a well informed decision. As of the 18th the time is up to go with the current bid amount. After that, the project will have to be re-bid costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Jim Codell of Codell Construction came forward at Friday’s meeting with a final bid of a little over $14 million, Codell said the new number reflects some new re-bids on a couple packages which were able to shave an excess of a million dollars off the project.

“We cut just a few things and got a little more participation on the electrical side,” Codell said.  “It really did not change the scope of the project we were pleased with what we were able to achieve. There was some question marks on the electrical side that we were able to get clarified, that is where the bulk of the savings is.”

The bid for the new jail project expires Dec. 17, although Codell said he did not see where there would be a problem pushing the date out to Dec. 18 after Meckstroth proposed a motion which would require the new bid to be sent to the jail committee for review before a decision is made.

“I am gong to say if we need an extra day it should not be a problem,” Codell said. “We did not get any push back going to the 17th, so it should not be a problem. If the date needs to be the 18th, we can certainly make that work.”

Ray questioned Meckstroth’s purpose in having the bid sent to the jail committee.

“This is new numbers,” Meckstroth said. “I would like for the jail committee to review those numbers and bring their recommendation back to the court.”

Meckstroth later asked if the jail bid could wait until January for a final decision to be made.

“The reason I say that is because we will have a new court,” Meckstroth said. “I think it is only fair for the new court members to have input into it.”

Jessamine County attorney Brian Goettl said there is no question everyone is aware that if the county decides to build the new jail there will need to be additional revenue coming in from somewhere, but there is also other things to consider.

“Another thing that we need to consider is The Department of Corrections was about ready to shut our jail down because of the over crowding in it,” Goettl said. “We have been given a reprise from that because we have started moving seriously forward on the jail and building the new jail. I think we need to have some projections on the cost of if we don’t build the jail to ship the extra 80-90 inmates a day to other detention centers, because that is going to be the realistic number and not get shut down by The Department of Corrections.”

Salle said the court also needs to consider the updates and repairs which have been put off for the last eight-years and what those cost will be as well.

“As it stands, it will cost several 2-3 million to update and renovate the existing building,” Sallee said. “We will have to renegotiate contracts with surrounding counties to hold a larger amount of inmates, and I believe that will be expensive seeing the already rising numbers of inmates across the state. At the end of the day, it still does not fix the problem that we have as a county.”