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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, March 02, 2019 1:00 am

More funding for facility gets OK

Additional $90,000 approved for correctional building

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Refitting a former state juvenile justice facility to house adults in an Allen County work-release program has proved costlier than expected.

County commissioners this morning approved another cost increase – this time for about $90,000. The renovation is now expected to cost just more than $4 million.

The bulk of the money, $87,000, will be used for redoing the plumbing after it was learned that showers were designed and built so they had to be turned off and on by staff in a centralizing monitoring station.

That setup might have been effective and necessary for juveniles who could shower at set times. But because the work-release program houses adults who work different schedules, the system was not considered efficient or appropriate, commissioners were told.

Chris Cloud, commissioners' chief of staff, said the change would leave more than $120,000 in a construction contingency fund.

Last year, the commissioners approved renovating the former Northeast Juvenile Correctional Facility at 7117 Venture Lane to house work release clients now housed in an approximately 100-year-old, deteriorating building on the campus of Byron Health Center at 12101 Lima Road, north of Carroll Road.

Most of the rest of the increase went to some ceiling and electrical work, Cloud said. The county had designed the contract with 10 alternatives and was able to remove one to make up for the increased expense of this and another increase related to plumbing, he said. 

Cloud said this change was likely to be the costliest of any that may come up before the building completion, expected in July. The seven-year vacancy of the building is part of the problem, he said.

In other business, the board:

• Renewed a contract with Harvey Auctions, Fort Wayne, for conducting real estate tax sales for the county at a rate of $55 an hour, and

• Renewed a contract for $26,680 with D&L Transportation for transporting voting equipment for the Allen County Board of Election Service to polling places. 

“It's the same company, the same great service we've received from them and the same price,” said Beth Dlug, director of elections. 

The money will be reimbursed by the city because this is a municipal election, Cloud said. 

rsalter@jg.net