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Lincoln County supervisors consider jail bids

Bids are in, and Lincoln County supervisors are putting together a plan to install a new roof on the county jail.

It’s not as easy as starting from scratch — repair and relocation of the roof’s HVAC units will go on during the project, which will be done in phases to keep the inmates housed below free from exposure. Supervisors are trying to get the project’s timing just right to avoid additional costs if inmates have to be housed at neighboring jails while the work is carried out.

“There’s a good bit of coordination involved,” said Dungan Engineer Principal Ryan Holmes, the county’s engineer. “We’re dealing with the HVAC people now.”

Supervisors on Monday reviewed bids from six contractors and tabled a final decision until county administrator David Fields returns from vacation. Fields is coordinating the HVAC contractors and supervisors want to make sure all the workers are on the same page before the project begins.

Their first decision will be choosing between the two lowest bidders. Independent Roofing Systems Inc. turned in the lowest total bid of $232,950 for the roof project, including an addition that would repair a leak in the adjoining justice court offices. The newer justice court roof is sound, but a bad joint needs to be sawn out and replaced.

If supervisors skip the addition, R & R Sheet Metal Inc. would have the lowest base bid of $229,305.

It is unlikely supervisors will leave a leaky roof over justice court for the sake of $3,600.

“If we’ve got another problem, let’s go ahead and deal with it while we have a contractor here, on site,” said District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown.

The Lincoln County Jail was built in 2000, and the existing roof has already aged beyond its intended service life and is leaking in several areas. The new modified bitumen roof will be slightly sloped to speed drainage and will not require a rock layer. It will also carry a 20-year warranty.

“The roof is going to leak — flat roofs leak, period. But when if it leaks inside that 20-year warranty, you can make a phone call and they will come and fix it,” said Dungan Engineer Principal Ryan Holmes, the county’s engineer.

HVAC units will have to be hoisted off the roof during construction, and two of them will be replaced with new models.

“They’re all original units and they have to be worked on regularly,” Holmes said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing hopes to shift the jail population between cell blocks to keep inmates out of areas affected by construction. If overcrowding becomes an issue, inmates will have to be moved to neighboring facilities and the county will have to pay for their housing.

Rushing said there are currently 85 inmates in the Lincoln County Jail, which can hold a maximum of 120.

“If it stays like this, I think we can handle it,” he said. “It’s going to depend on our numbers at the time this project gets ready to start. Right now we’re planning on keeping everyone in-house.”