Jail dispatch

The expanded Franklin County Adult Detention Center is nearing completion.

Franklin County commissioners approved a total of $227,268 in change orders to the county jail project at their Tuesday meeting.

The largest share of that, $174,058, went to a power-wash, according to the commission’s agenda packet.

But Commissioner Dave Hinson said there was more to the project than cleaning. River City Construction LLC also is tuck-pointing, removing and replacing old grout in seams between blocks in the original jail portion of the building, as well as sealing the exterior of the building to prevent leakage.

“Since we were under budget and we had leaking areas inside the building, we decided we should go ahead and fix the building,” Hinson said after Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

The county was hoping to do the project before construction began but decided to wait and see if it had money left in the budget, Hinson said. “It was something that was put out for bid,” he said. “We did not originally accept the bid because we did not want to go over budget.”

The original budget for the jail was $30.5 million. County Auditor Angela Gibson said Friday the county anticipates being between $400,000 and $500,000 under budget on the project.

The construction trailers at the jail complex were ready to be removed Tuesday morning, Hinson said. “Besides some little minor things, they will pretty much be done after this week,” he said.

Hinson called the new jail “state-of-the-art.”

“It’s going to be a better work space for our employees,” he said. “They’re not sitting there on top of each other.”

The jail was built after officials pointed out rising numbers of inmates being housed at the old facility, which was built in 1985. The old jail was built to house 130 inmates, but that number had grown to as high as 203 in 2018, with an average inmate population of 167 in 2018, according to Missourian archives.

The jail was paid for using the half-cent Prop P sales tax, approved by county voters in 2018. Half the money went to the jail, with the remainder going toward salaries for all commissioned law enforcement officers in the county.

Ground was broken on the jail in June 2019.