After a brief review of the bids and discussion regarding the requirements for the project, the board voted 5-0 on a motion offered by Kevin Austin and seconded by Brady Wooten to accept the bid from Sylvester and Cochrum.
At this point, according to statements made by Maj. Danny Widener, the contractor approved by the board will be required to submit plans and drawings for approval by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Widener expects the paperwork to take about one month.
Upon state approval the work can begin and according to Widener is expected to be completed within approximately two-three months.
“Until that happens our jail will be closed for all intensive purposes,” said commissioner Chad Wagoner. “I know that there have been some semantic discussions on whether the jail is closed or not, but in theory, the jail is closed.”
“That is correct,” said Widener. “We are housing one or two inmates and we book in and book out.”
“Alright, that issue is taken care of,” said Wagoner.
Based completely on the content of the last jail inspection, there are additional issues with the current jail that will have to be repaired or dealt with in some way to avoid the situation the county is in now with the jail population. Other future repairs mentioned were the sprinkler system, replacement of glass that is the proper type, smoke evac system, and shower walls.
“I am happy with the bids we got for the repairs. We now have a defined project and will actually be getting much more for our money than the original proposals.” When asked if he felt the delay contributed to the partial jail closing, Austin said, “No, that was already in the works.”
“I am very pleased with the bids and the process that got us to this point,” said Commissioner Wooten. “We’re getting a lot more plumbing for relatively the same amount of money.”