Bids Too High, County To Revamp Women’S Jail Design

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County officials will revamp the design for a new women’s jail in Globe after the lowest bid for the project returned roughly $200,000 over budget.

The lowest of 18 bids totaled roughly $900,000.

Public Works Director Steve Stratton said the design could be altered without major sacrifices to build at the budgeted $769,000.

For instance, the original design included 11 cameras, which would require two systems because one system can only handle eight cameras. So eliminating three cameras can result in savings.

Less expensive materials will also be examined.

“We’re not sacrificing any security,” he said. Supervisor Shirley Dawson worried that gaps in cameras could leave blind spots, making the county out of compliance.

Already, county officials worry about lawsuits because of jail overcrowding. New construction will increase the number of beds from 18 to 40.

“I would really hope that we’re very careful,” Dawson said.

Stratton said two of the cameras eliminated were located outside glass the guard could view anyway. The jail will meet requirements, he said.

The county is building the jail as part of an $8 million bond project that also includes a new public works headquarters. Other purchases allow departments housed in rented buildings to move to county-owned locations.

Officials plugging the project’s timing have tied it to record-low construction costs and interest rates.

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