Ottawa company given bid for new county jail

Loyd Builders Inc. of Ottawa was awarded the low bid of $3.055 million to construct the new county jail by unanimous vote Monday of the Marion County commissioners.

The bid included a completion deadline of 335 days.

Andrew Pitts of Treanor Architects, a St. Louis company with branches in Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City, said his study concluded that Loyd Builders? bid was the best one among the nine bids received.

Each bidder added an additional eight options at various prices, which the commissioners still will have to determine if they want to add.

The commissioners said they were favoring money saving options suggested by Pitts, such as only adding native stone work to the front of the jail facing the street instead of putting it on all four sides. Another option is to not add a second story for future expansion.

Project funding will come from bonds paid by a county-wide sales tax that began being collected in July.

Other bids and completion times were Construction Services, Wichita, $3.562 million, 365 days; The Law Co., Wichita, $3.289 million, 360 days; Altmar, Topeka, $3.243 million, 365 days; Decker Construction, Coffeyville, $3.295 million, 400 days; Universal Construction, Kansas City, $3.38 million, 365 days; B.A. Green Construction, Lawrence, $3.175 million, 320 days; Konrath Group, Kansas City, $3.246 million, 400 days and Straub Con?struction, Kansas City, $3.439 million, 365 days.

Commissioners Dan Holub and Randy Dallke noted that only a few years ago the average inmate population of the jail was about four people while today it is often around 15.

Sheriff Rob Craft confirmed that the courts might incarcerate more jail prisoners if space was available.

Dallke said the jail probably could need space for an average of 30 prisoners in 15 years.

Other business

In other business, the commissioners acknowledged that state Sen. Jay Emler (R-Linds?borg) has acknowledged receiving a letter of their concerns regarding Keystone Pipeline.

The commissioners agreed to a suggestion from Dallke to commend the governor and Kansas Department of Transportation for resurfacing this summer on U.S. highways 50 and 56.

Commissioners said they will attempt to meet with landowners in the vicinity of 340th and Chisholm next week concerning possible closure of a 20-foot bridge that has become unsafe. It has a three-ton load limit on a dirt road.

They said they will re-examine new road construction west from Tampa to see if the road is sufficiently compacted in order to determine whether level reduction and recompacting work is needed before resurfacing begins.

The commissioners agreed to rezone property at 1836 Pawnee from agriculture to subdivision to accommodate the landowner in property division.

Steve Brosemer, consulting county surveyor, reported to the commissioners that the Eastshore Subdivision at Marion Reservoir, established in 1969 before county zoning, was not well surveyed; properties frequently are not within legally described boundaries.

The commissioners said they will study the situation before taking action.

Teresa Huffman, county economic development director, asked the commissioners to declare the county an opportunity zone soon to cooperate with the state?s program to attract college graduates to the area by offering school-loan savings.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said he would especially like to use the program to attract new medical doctors.

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