Bureau County Board approves additional jail expenses

Project manager says law enforcement center is on schedule for fall opening

PRINCETON — The Bureau County Board on Tuesday approved additional construction costs for the new law enforcement center, which the project manager says is coming along on time and within budget.

Henry Pittner of BKV Group told board members the law enforcement center still is on schedule to be turned over to the county by August with it being operational and ready for staff training in September. Despite COVID-related delays in the supply chain, Pittner said the entire project should be ready to be completed in advance of the November date specified in the original contract.

Board members, with the exception of Pamela Clementz (R-Princeton), the sole no vote, approved additional costs for lighting, roof repair and a kitchen.

Pittner told the board the $23,600 cost of replacing lighting will be economical in the long run, because replacing damaged ballasts discovered in the demolition process would be less costly than repairing the existing fixtures. Pittner said replacing the lights with new, up-to-code lighting will be more economical and using LED lighting should ensure they won’t need replaced “in our lifetime, probably our grandchildren’s lifetime.”

Board members approved also $7,800 to repair a water leak on an a parapet wall on the existing structure with an estimated $14,000 additional cost to be discussed at July’s meeting. Pittner said contractors discovered the leak, which was undetectable until the building was subject to “driving rain” after construction commenced.

A final, but big ticket item, a jail kitchen, was unanimously approved for a cost of $351,000. The original contract included alternate bids to add a kitchen so Pittner said it will not add unaccounted for costs. Pittner explained now is the best time to go forward with equipping a kitchen, because it will be less invasive to operations to add it now rather than retrofit one once the jail is operational. The current jail does not have a kitchen and pay additional costs for a meal service provider.

The total cost is under the original $12.3 million budget and Pittner said he forecasts staying within the budget and time frame contracted.