County rethinking jail project, cost estimates


— After failing miserably the first time, Routt County is expected to put its jail remodeling project back out to bid, with a higher price ceiling.
"We can't get it done for $260,000," said Tim Winter, the purchasing agent and property manager for the county.
That was how much Winter originally predicted it would cost to add holding cells, a garage (sallyport) and storage space, along with remodeling a kitchen and communications center at the jail.
In August, none of the 10 construction companies who asked to see the plans bid on the project. The companies were attracted to simpler, more lucrative jobs available in Steamboat Springs thanks to the local building boom.
Now, Winter and the county realize the remodeling may cost up to a half million dollars to get it done.
"Things got more complicated increased in scope," Winter said.
Not to mention the cost of construction is high in Steamboat Springs right now, Winter said.
However, the property manager said he's gotten calls since the last bid went out. "I've had a number of people express interest and say they can handle the job. We'll probably get bids this time," Winter said.
The escalating cost of the detention center improvements has prompted the county commissioners and the sheriff to rethink the scope of the project.
"We're going to ask to hold off on the jail expansion project and kitchen remodel," Sheriff John Warner told the board of commissioners Monday.
Instead, Warner wants to concentrate on expanding the communications center, for now.
"I believe if you had to sit in that communications center for 10 hours, you'd see why," Warner said. "It's a very dark, dismal place for (dispatchers) to work, and they do a heck of a job."

To reach Frances Hohl call 871-4208


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