Commissioners meet with architect, construction manager on new jail
The Sullivan County Commissioners met with Garmong Construction and
DLZ for an update on the new jail project in a special meeting last
"What we're looking for today is feedback from you if you're going to
stay within the design development assessment," Garmong's Lance
Gassert said, asking if the estimated cost is going to go up or is it
going to go down.
Gassert described putting that number together is not an exact
science, it is an art form.
"The site plan designed by DLZ has had input from the sheriff and user
group," he added. "I think this facility is probably state of the art.
It's got a lot of things in it to allow the user group to operate very
efficiently and without interruption."
Gassert predicted the bid day cost in July for the 70,500 square foot
jail will be between the $33.5 and $34 million range.
"And on top of that, what we call soft costs, which haven't yet been
defined … because we have to know what the land purchase price will
be, we'll have to work with the sheriff and DLZ on what the final
equipment will be," he said. "That is about 20% now, which puts the
total cost range between $40 and $41 million for a total project cost."
Gassert said the design development estimate will be completed by
March 1 and "if the expectations of the design is what you want it to
be, I think we're full force ahead."
Commissioner Ray McCammon asked if anyone had spoken with Jason
Semler of Baker-Tilly, the county's financial consultant, "to see how
these numbers are going to fit in our ability to pay."
DLZ principal architect Eric Ratts said he had spoken with Semler in
the last few days, and while noting he didn't speak for him, Semler
indicated to him he had run the county's numbers at $35 million and
it was fine. "He was just looking at some updated numbers and information
from Garmong," Ratts said.
Sheriff Clark Cottom, participating on cellphone, said he has provided
input through many meetings with DLZ, which included his staff
throughout the process.
"I want people to know this not just Clark Cottom's jail," the sheriff stated.
McCammon then asked about the sewer capacity issue and could anyone
speak for the city of Sullivan about it.
"What I would tell you is that for them to give you a tap-on, they
have to be able to confirm that from the tap-on spot all the way to
the treatment plant that your additional load won't create problems
and they can accomodate that," Garmong Construction's Business
Development Manager Ralph Wagle said.
"(The city of Sullivan) have hired an engineering consultant
(Commonwealth Engineering), a very qualified engineering consultant.
And that consultant is doing an analysis of the lift station for the
city of Sullivan. We asked for an answer whether or not the city could
take your sewage tap-on. Their response was we don't know, we'd have
to study that and if they do study it … they want the county to pay
Commonwealth requested the county pay $26,000 for this engineering
"I discussed that at length with their engineer to understand what's
in it," Wagle said. "We believe it's a reasonable fee because a big
component of that is putting flow monitors in key manholes between
your tap-on and the treatment plant for a full month. Those machines
are just very expensive. We have a placeholder in our budget for a
sanitary sewer connection of $500,000. If we are able to tap to the
city and not have to pay for additional upgrades in the system, that's
probably a safe number."
Wagle said if the commissioners were agreeable, Commonwealth would
need in-writing authorization.
"At the end of the day if you are going to go south into the city of
Sullivan, you're going to need to know the answer to that question,"
McCammon then asked if the city of Sullivan "can't handle our sewage,
then what can we do?"
Wagle said there were a couple of different alternatives.
Option 1, he explained, would be to pay for whatever reason they
couldn't handle the sewage — treatment plant, lift station or a larger
"If I represented them, I would say 'County, if you need that
additional capacity, you pay for it and we'll work with you," Wagle
said. "The other option is take sewage a different direction, like
Wagle said that option would be over three miles and require an
upgrade of their lift station, with an estimated cost of $3 to $
"You also could do a lift station or a force main, which would be
significantly less but it wouldn't allow anybody between here and our
tap-on point to hook on," he added. "You are in the same boat heading
north as you are heading south. You're going to have to have an
engineer look at what it is going to cost."
Wagle said he had contacted Shelburn's engineer, Midwestern Engineers,
out of Loogootee, who told him they would look into it.
The commissioners then passed a motion to go ahead with the
preliminary engineering report by Commonwealth Engineering at the cost
Also, the commissioners passed a motion to proceed with the appraisal
on the proposed jail property, located just east of North Section
Street and north of CR 300N.