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Supervisors hear third jail project proposal
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Supervisors hear third jail project proposal

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HJ - Standard Page County Jail

The Page County Board of Supervisors has now heard a third architecture company’s project management proposal on the possible county jail project.

Representatives from Carlson West Povondra Architects explained to county officials what areas of expertise they could bring to the project, including over 34 years of history in law enforcement and public safety architecture. At the March 16 Page County Board of Supervisors meeting, representing the company were Jamie Eckmann, director of business development; Mike West, senior principal; and Matt Krause, budget manager/budget architect.

Eckmann said the first step would be to look at the county jail’s current needs and what opportunities there were for growth and change in the county, and how the company could assist.

“Today, we mainly wanted to highlight some points, our approach to the planning and designing process, and how we can use that process to help you guys achieve your goal for the successful planning, design, and construction of a new law enforcement center,” said Eckmann.

Eckmann said a key member of the team that would work on the project, not in attendance, would be Mark Martin. Martin attended a Zoom meeting along with other team members last December with the supervisors. She said Martin would be a jail planner and operation specialist on the project.

Eckmann said Martin would guide the county through the demographics and trends.

“He doesn’t take a study off a shelf and dust it off and say this is a county about your same size; this is what you need,” said Eckmann. “He’s going to find out what you need here, and that’s the process he leads you through. At the end of his study, he’s not tied to the architecture or the construction of the project, so there is no benefit for him to necessarily provide more than what you need. He shows you this is what you need, and then we work with him to take his information and turn that into a building design.”

Krause said Martin is there to assist in designing the jail for the county’s needs.

“At the end of the day, your sheriff is going to operate the jail,” said Krause. “He (Martin) works with them to develop a plan. He sees how they operate their current jail. He advises them on current trends, but then again, at the end of the day, it’s their jail. They are the ones that have to run it.”

West said the initial study would pair the community’s needs in a jail with a budget. He said the needs might exceed the budget in some cases, so things would be phased out over time. He said prioritizing so that the project fits the budget is an important part of the planning process.

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Krause said to ensure the correct jail size, and that the facility meets the county’s needs, the study would show demographic information and look at national and local trends. He said it would not only look at the inmate population but the current county population and whether it was seeing growth or declining.

“At the end of the day, what drives the cost of the jail is the number of inmates and the type of inmates you have,” said Krause.

Krause said if the facility could function with dorm size housing, it would be less expensive than a maximum security facility. He said the significant portion of the project would be helping the county officials and residents understand what type of facility is needed and why.

Supervisor Chairman Chuck Morris asked for a standard time frame from when the study starts to the bond issue.

Eckmann took the supervisors through the three major phases. She said the first phase would be the study and finding out the county’s needs and dialing that into what the public will support. Eckmann said the project would move into the funding and promotional phase and getting the information out to the public. The next step would be the bond campaign, and following a successful bond issue would be that standard long design process.

“So that initial study portion probably takes about a 13-week time period,” said Eckmann. “Some of that depends on the more options that you analyze or, the more information that we need to gather.”

Eckmann said the public information and bonding campaign would take 10 weeks.

“All along our processes we’re developing after funding has been set and we’ve determined a budget and the value of what the project is going to be,” said Eckmann. “Each one of those stages that we go through, we’re adding more information, we’re adding more detail, and we’re evaluating the cost of that project along the entire way.”

Eckman said they would work closely with a cost professional to determine the project was not growing or changing in size from the initial design phase and staying within the budgeted amount for the project.

At the end of the day, the representatives said it was their responsibility to the county to set a bond amount and stay within that budget.

The supervisors took no action on the proposal and have heard two additional proposals on the Page County Jail Project from architectural companies Prochaska & Associates and The Samuels Group.

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