On Monday, Nov. 13, the Logan County Quorum Court will be asked to approve a resolution accepting the $10.9 million in bids opened last Thursday to build a new, 100-bed county jail on South Lowder Street in Paris.
Approval is expected, according to Quorum Court member and Jail Committee Chairman Mike Schluterman.
“We will present it to the Quorum Court and I think they’re ready to get started on this,” Schluterman said after last Thursday’s bid opening. “I think the Quorum Court will accept these bids.”
Thursday’s bid opening was the second this year on the project to replace the current Logan County Detention Center which was built in Paris in the 1980s. The current jail has been repeatedly cited for violations of jail standards. Last year, voters in the county overwhelmingly approved a one percent hike in sales taxes to build, operate and maintain the new jail. Last November, $10 million in bonds were sold backed by the tax. In the election, voters authorized issuing up to $13 million in bonds.
The first bid opening took place this summer and the bids came in at $13.6 million, more than the $13 million the county can spend on the project. However, those bids were for a 132-bed jail and the county is only building a 100-bed jail. Logan County Judge Ray Gack blamed miscommunication for seeking bids for a larger than intended facility.
In addition to more beds, the first set of bids were for a two-story jail. The bids opened last Thursday are for a one-story building.
Logan County Judge Ray Gack said he was pleased with the bids of $10.9 million. Gack has always said he thought the project could be built for $10 million.
“At some point, they’ll have to issue more bonds,” Gack said last Friday. “Some more dirt work has to be done on the site and that should start in a couple of weeks.”
The project is expected to take 18 months to complete.
Thursday, bids were opened separately for every facet of the construction and furnishing of the jail. There were separate bids on everything from concrete to security systems, cells, to kitchen equipment. Once the bids were opened, architects and the construction manager sifted through the bids and come up with a total cost. The Jail Committee met later that day and approved the bids.
In addition to hosing prisoners, the new jail will include offices for the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and a courtroom, which will eliminate the need to transport prisoners to the Logan County Courthouse in Paris.