Carroll jail bids soar over budget Lowest is nearly $1 million higher

January 22, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll County opened 16 bids yesterday for an addition to the detention center -- all about $1 million higher than county officials expected.

"I'm sick over this," Sheriff John Brown said. "This [the addition] is desperately needed."

The county estimated that the work, which includes an 18,000-square-foot addition for 80 more beds and other renovations, would cost about $2.2 million, said Tom Rio, chief of building construction.

The lowest bid was $3,083,000, from H. A. Harris Co. Inc. in Towson. The highest bid was $3,590,000 from Harbor View Contractors Inc. in Baltimore.

The state had agreed to pay for about half of the work, Mr. Rio said. The project has been planned for at least 2 1/2 years, he said.

He said he was "a little befuddled" about why the bids were so much higher than the county estimated. Officials will have to look for some more money, he said.

"Where are they going to find an extra $1 million? I know the county government doesn't have that kind of money," Sheriff Brown said. "There are no frills in this [project], absolutely none."

It would be pointless to build a smaller addition because the 80 beds are very much needed, he said.

The jail has 120 beds but often has more prisoners, forcing officials to set up cots in cell blocks, he said.

County commissioners said yesterday they would have to look at the situation before deciding what to do.

The bids submitted by the 16 companies include their costs for building the detention center addition; renovating the segregation, general population and work-release areas; and providing space for administration of the home detention program, Mr. Rio said.

Work on the project, which would take about a year, was scheduled to begin this spring at the earliest, Mr. Rio said. Money for the project was set aside by the commissioners in the last fiscal year, he said. Bushey Associates Inc. of Hagerstown are the architects for the project.

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