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Jail expansion plans moving ahead

| June 23, 2004 12:00 AM

By Brent Shrum, Western News Reporter

Plans to expand and remodel the Lincoln County jail are moving ahead this week with a pre-bid tour for contractors scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Bids for the project, pegged by preliminary estimates at around $600,000, will be opened on June 30.

The county has secured a $500,000 loan from a state fund to finance the project. The loan will be paid back over the next 10 years with money the county receives under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program for federal land.

The expansion and renovation is designed to meet pressing security, safety and space needs and forestall the construction of a new facility.

³We¹re going to make this one work as long as we can,² said Lincoln County Commissioner Rita Windom.

The jail is designed to house 25 to 30 inmates but has held up to 42.

The design for the project calls for an addition to the north end of the jail along with some remodeling within the existing facility. Four new cells will be added with two beds each. A holding cell and a padded cell will also be added, each with a capacity of one inmate.

The addition will include a new covered secure entryway, which will lead to a new booking area. A new control room will allow central electronic control of doors within the facility. Showers will be installed in all cells that don¹t currently have them, improving security.

An option for double bunking in five existing single cells would allow the jail¹s capacity to be expanded by up to 15 additional inmates after the renovation.

As part of the same project, the county¹s dispatch center in the courthouse basement adjacent to the jail will also be remodeled to improve efficiency and security.

Chief detention officer Jerome Schad said the changes will be welcomed, but he added that the fix isn¹t intended to be long-term.

³This is going to help a lot with officer safety and more room, but it¹s temporary,² he said.