Construction of the new Dent County Jail was completed at a price tag about $75,000 less than budgeted, county commissioners said Monday.
Nick Smith of the Septagon construction management firm appeared before the commission to report on the project and get approval for some last-minute expenses. He said the jail budget still has $75,093 remaining in its furniture, fixtures and equipment allowance and $19,741 in contingency funds.
Remaining to be paid are $11,993 to Prost Builders for sneeze guards and undetermined amount for a shower partition in the booking area. Those expenses will come out of the contingency fund, Smith said.
As of Monday, the county still had $1.14 million remaining in available funds from United Missouri Bank.
The 85-bed jail was originally budgeted at $12.89 million, but contractor change orders pushed the revised budget to $12.96 million. Payments so far total $12.84 million.
“It’s always a challenge to get these projects in under budget,” said presiding commissioner Darrell Skiles. “We’re pretty happy how things have gone.”
Smith credited the contractors and cooperation between the commission and the sheriff.
“It was a team effort,” he said. “I think you had some good contractors on board, and they’re staying with you on the warranty items. There’s always a few things that come up after you open that you don’t realize until you start putting things in service.”
Another walkthrough is planned in eight or nine months to make sure everything is operating correctly before the standard one-year warranty runs out on workmanship. Any other issues will be addressed as they come up.
Sheriff Bob Wells said officials from Pulaski, Reynolds, Phelps and Crawford counties have toured the jail since it opened.
“They’ve all been extremely impressed with the operation here. We’ve kind of got a state-of-the-art place right now,” he said. “It’s a great deal, and I think you guys as commissioners have done a great job of backing us up and funding it.”
Second District commissioner Gary Larson called hiring Septagon to oversee the project “the best money we’ve spent. We appreciate what you guys have done.”
Smith said Septagon is “still here for support” even though the project is done.
First District commissioner Dennis Purcell also gave credit to the community committee that came together and recognized the need for a new jail “and pushed forward and made that recommendation to the commission.”
In other business:
• treasurer Denita Williams reported on the monthly receipt of CART funds. Williams said $56,198 came in this month, compared to $60,278 in July 2019, a decrease of $4,079. CART funds, derived from fuel taxes, are down $27,342 year to date, or 6.94 percent.
• under commission reports, Purcell said that, in addition to grading and replacing a crossover pipe on county road 5670, a crew was spending Monday digging up a section of county road 6380, damaged by recent concrete truck traffic, that has also has also had chronic issues in the past.
Plans are to try to build a base on the chip and seal road that won’t collapse over time, he said. “It’s a problem where we can’t keep the road,” he said. “It keeps falling in” possibly due to an underground spring or voids in the earth. The road was closed Monday from the Highway K side, but there are three other ways to get into that area, he said.
• Purcell said he attended a tourism commission meeting July 20 where three event proposals and one reimbursement request were approved.
• in the Second District, Larson said grading was planned Monday county roads 2020 and 2030, brush cutting on 3210, 3233 and 4330 and material being hauled to 2210 and 2020. A tree is down on 2380 but the road is passable, he said. It was to be removed today (Tuesday).
• presiding commissioner Darrell Skiles reminded the public that CARES Act funds are still available for public entities and private small businesses for COVID-19-related expenses incurred during the pandemic. The funds cannot be used to replace lost revenue, but can cover expenses like rent, he said.
He encouraged anyone interested to call Eva Voss or Kelly Sink at MRPC at 573-265-2993 to apply for funds.
“The dollars are there for public entities and small businesses to apply,” he said.
• in her report, county clerk Angie Curley said she has just received the county’s assessed valuation figures for 2020 from the state auditor. The county was assessed at $175,153,494, up slightly from last year’s $174,587,377.
• commissioners set the county tax levy hearing for 10 a.m. Aug. 17. The levies are for general revenue, road and bridge, Senate Bill 40 and the Senior Citizens Service Fund.