County supervisors approve jail upgrade bid

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 07, 2014 5:00 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The Board of Supervisors approved an $880,000 bid for upgrades to the county jail on Thursday.

The board considered two bids, one from Iowa City construction company Selzer Werderitsch Associates and one from Pinnacle Integrated Systems Inc., a construction company from Pennsylvania.

Ultimately the supervisors approved Selzer Werderitsch as the lowest responsible bidder — over Pinnacle’s much higher bid of $949,696.

“It’s just nice to see a local contractor get the bid,” Supervisor Rod Sullivan said. “We obviously don’t have a choice when it comes to bidding, we just take the lowest responsible bid, but it’s nice to see that it’s local.”

More than half of the bid will go to upgrade the jail’s current security systems, which rely on electronic relays and push buttons. This system has not been seriously upgraded since its installation in 1981.

Because of this, the system is getting very difficult to maintain, County Facilities Manager Eldon Slaughter said. Contractors had to go to eBay to find replacement parts because they are not manufactured anymore.

The rest of the bid will cover lighting updates and a new elevator for the jail.

The supervisors originally budgeted $1.2 million for the upgrades and Supervisor Janelle Rettig noted this might leave some room for some additional projects in the future.

Ultimately, the county jail’s needs go beyond an electronic systems upgrade and into much more fundamental issues such as lack of space. As was noted many times during the supervisors’ post-election meetings, these fixes for the jail and courthouse are mostly temporary in nature.

“This is once again the Board of Supervisors efforts to keep our jail building at least functional,” Supervisor Terrance Neuzil said. “And to see some of these upgrades made after some unsuccessful attempts to have residents fully address the jail’s needs.”

— by Ben Marks

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.