Jail Project Progressing Nicely

A project to construct a new Saline County Jail continues to move forward at a quick pace.

The new jail project was approved by voters in the November 3rd election. A one-half percent sales tax to help pay for the new building was enacted on April 1st. Groundbreaking is planned for the fall, with project completion slated for the fall of 2023.

According to Saline County, bonds were sold on August 5th. Not only did the County receive a very good interest rate but the bonds were also bid with a “premium,” which means that the County actually received $81 million cash for the $74.9 million in bonds issued. The bonds have a 22-year term but are “callable” after the first 10 years.

The bond sale was closed on August 26 and the County now has over $79 million invested with the State’s Municipal Investment Pool until the funds are needed to pay project costs.

Contractors Engaging

Turner Construction, the County’s construction manager at risk, has issued the first bid package for work on the jail site. This package includes site preparation work such as basic grading, underground utility installation and pouring of footings and foundations, as well as items that have a longer lead time in the current construction environment including pre-cast concrete cell units and wall panels and structural steel components.

Turner Construction representatives also met with approximately 65 local and regional contractors who might be interested in bidding on construction work for the project at the Saline County Expo Center on Tuesday, August 17.

More Coming

While work is continuing on the project throughout September, October is shaping up as our next big “milestone month.” Commissioners are expected to consider the Guaranteed Maximum Price contract for the work included in Bid Package #1 at their October 12 regular meeting. We’re also planning a special meeting of the County Commission on the jail site for later in October to perform the actual groundbreaking on the project.