Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning has asked the county for $463,300 to make 11th-hour changes to the 100-bed addition at the Carroll County Detention Center, but much of that amount might be covered by savings elsewhere in the $6.1 million project.
The cost of the changes is a "worst-case scenario," Tom Rio, the county's building and construction chief, said during yesterday's 45-minute meeting with the county commissioners.
The most expensive change would be $300,000 for a new natural gas-powered generator, replacing a diesel-powered unit installed in 1985 and operating at 70 percent efficiency, Rio said.
Other alterations and projected expenses include:
$78,500 to add a roof over a truck sally port, a secured loading dock area where supplies will be unloaded from tractor-trailers.
$34,800 to install a lift for handicapped prisoners in the sally port, where inmates will be transported in vehicles to and from court.
$26,000 to redesign and install sidewalks and stairs outside the main entrance of the detention center and redo a portion of security fence to keep people away from windows where female inmates will be housed.
Less expensive changes include $5,000 for a secure metal door where all prisoners arriving at a proposed Central Booking area will enter; $13,000 for internal renovations to provide better visitor control and house a state interagency computer; and $6,000 for cables to better link computers in the old and new portions of the jail.
Tregoning and Warden Mason W. Waters told the commissioners that having a reliable generator is a must.
During one of three recent power outages in the Westminster area, the jail's generator malfunctioned, leaving prisoners and correctional officers in the dark for about 15 minutes.
"In my business, I can't have that happen again," said Waters, alluding to the security of his employees and the inmates.
The roof and the sidewalks are important because they present potential liability problems if someone trips and is injured, Tregoning said.
Rio also offered good news to the commissioners, pointing to nearly $200,000 in unspent money from the construction budget and $100,000 unspent for furniture.
"Those funds could offset the costs of the changes," he said.
Commissioners Julia Walsh Gouge, Donald I. Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier asked Rio to consult with electrical engineers and decide whether to repair or replace the generator, and to provide them with accurate cost figures as soon as possible.
"We will want to go over these with our budget director," Dell said. "We have contingency funds available, but we have to be sure" the money is available.
The $6.1 million jail addition is expected to be completed in May, said Waters. Adding 17,000 square feet will essentially double the jail space and raise inmate capacity to about 250.
The current jail was built to house 146, but the number of inmates has averaged 170 to 180 and rose as high as 190 last summer.
Harford County completed a new jail wing in 1997, essentially doubling its inmate capacity to nearly 300 at a cost of more than $10 million.
Comparison of construction and design costs of buildings is difficult, said Rio.
"Our totals, design and construction, also included costly renovations to the existing portion of the jail," he said. "The state required our adding sprinklers throughout, and we also renovated the entire kitchen area."
Pub Date: 3/03/99