Progress continues on a project to build a new Saline County Jail and sheriff’s office facility.
According to Saline County Administrator Philip Smith-Hanes, on Wednesday, March 2nd, a team including county staff, architects, and construction managers ventured to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to review the first precast block of two cells that has been manufactured for Saline County’s jail. The tour was valuable, as a couple of further modifications are necessary to ensure inmate safety in the final cells.
Smith-Hanes joined in on the KSAL Morning News Extra on Thursday with a look at the process.
Production of the cells in South Dakota will ramp up over the next few weeks. Following time for drying and curing of the concrete, the cells will then be transported to Salina later in the spring.
Back in Saline County, the Sheriff and County Administrator toured all the footings that have been poured on the building site. The shape of the building is now starting to be visible not just on a blueprint, but on the actual ground. Staff was able to see where the cranes will be positioned to hoist the precast cells off of trucks and onto the footings once they arrive.
The new jail project was approved by voters. A one-half percent sales tax to help pay for the new building was enacted on April 1st, 2021.
The special half-cent sales tax that is funding the jail construction bond payments continues to come in strong, based on continuing growth of taxable sales throughout the community. The County made the first interest payment on last summer’s bond issue in February, but funds are already available for the first principal payment that is due in August. While it is still early in the payment process, a very conservative estimate projects that the bonds will be paid off up to seven years early.