The construction of the prison will begin in the spring | News

With the contracts awarded, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors hopes to begin construction on the new jail this spring.

Last week, supervisors awarded contracts to the prison project’s six lowest bidders, for a price just over $6.6 million.

Satisfied to have a groundbreaking prison in sight after more than four years of planning and failed referendums, supervisor Jack Willey proclaimed “praise the Lord” after the board unanimously approved the contracts.

Initial plans call for an 18-month construction, which supervisors expect to start this spring. However, that schedule may need to be adjusted due to the availability of materials and labor, officials said.

Supervisors awarded contracts to:

• Bruce Builders of Eldridge, general construction, approximately $3.5 million

• Stronghold Industries of Racine, Wisconsin, security electronics contract, approximately $1.01 million

• Kraus Plumbing & Heating LLC of Monticello, plumbing contract, $383,600

• Geisler Brothers Co. of Dubuque, HVAC contract, approximately $774,500

• Rock River Electric of Calona, ​​Illinois, power contract, approximately $797,300

• Midwest Auto Fire Sprinkler of Davenport, fire sprinkler contract, approximately $115,800

More than 15 companies had submitted bids for the project.

The new jail will be built on property the county purchased at the corner of East Maple Street and Jacobsen Drive in Maquoketa. The 18,700 square foot facility will have 30 beds with room for future expansion as well as at least eight inmate separation classifications under federal law (the current prison is designed to hold 11 inmates with virtually no classification). It will also include office space, training/multipurpose space, and more.

John Hansen, president and owner of Midwest Construction Consultants, manages the project. He contacted all the bidders, recommended who to award contracts to, and planned to meet with those hired after the supervisor’s meeting last Tuesday.

Hansen had told supervisors a week earlier, “I think the offers have been received very well.

Bids were a few hundred thousand less than the project’s most recent estimate of $6.87 million. The increase was due to rising material costs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hansen said.

The $6.6 million price still topped the $5.9 million bond metric approved by 71.3% of Jackson County voters in March 2021. The county already planned to use $300,000 of its fund capital improvements to make up the shortfall and will need to free up more money to pay for the rest.

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