The Barry County Commission plans to move forward with a proposed county jail expansion project after it receives new construction bids for the project this month.
The county jail expansion project, which calls for the addition of 16 pod-type cells at the current Barry County Jail building, was placed on hold in September of 2006. The project was set aside after bids received for the construction project came in well over the architect's original estimates.
Werner and Associates Architects, of Springfield, had anticipated the project could be completed for around $650,000, but when bids were opened on Aug. 31, 2006, they were all at least $250,000 more than the original estimate.
Based on the request for bids, the Barry County Commission would have had to accept both a base construction bid and a pre-cast modular cell pods bid from a single company rather than choosing the lowest base bid and the lowest bid for cell pods. The Commissioners unanimously voted to reject all of the bids.
When bid notices were advertised a second time, the Commission opted to separate the two portions of the project and request bids for only the pre-cast modular cell pods.
Last year, the Commission awarded a $351,488 bid to Tindall Corp., of Charlotte, N.C., for the pods that will be added at the Barry County Jail. The pods, which will be funded through the Commission's capital projects funds, are currently under construction.
The jail expansion project will increase the building's prisoner capacity from 32 to 64 prisoners. In 2007, the average number of prisoners housed the in jail each day was 48 prisoners.
The Commission has been setting aside capital project funds for the jail expansion project since 2004. Through Dec. 31, 2007, the county had earmarked $549,537 for the project. This year, the Commission will allocate $200,000 for the project fund.
The Barry County Commission is currently seeking bids for the construction portion of the jail expansion project.