New jail cost estimate at $110.5 million

Mar. 13—ANDERSON — Brian Colton with the consulting firm of Baker Tilly outlined funding options Tuesday to members of the Madison County Council for covering the estimated $110.5 million cost of the new jail.

The original estimated cost of the project was $89 million, but the Madison County Commissioners decided to increase the number of beds to 550.

Project manager Eric Weflen said the Commissioners are anticipating accepting bids on the project in June with the bonds to be sold in July.

"This is the current estimate," Colton said of the $110.5 million cost.

He said the project will have $84 million in construction costs, $8 million for contingencies, $9.8 million for soft costs and bond closing fees of $608,000.

Colton said the county will have to issue bonds in the amount of $75.8 million, use $6 million in American Rescue Plan funds and $28.6 million from the county's correctional local option income tax.

Councilwoman Jodi Norrick asked if the proposal is to complete work on both housing pods.

Weflen said the cost estimated doesn't include completing work in the second pod at an estimated cost of $8 million. The original cost was $89 million with the county issuing $60 million in bonds.

When asked Weflen said construction costs have stabilized over the past few years and that another Indiana jail project came in under the estimated cost.

"We don't know the costs until the bids are received," he said.

Colton said a second option was not to use the American Rescue Plan funds on the project which would increase the bond issue to $86 million and the annual payment would climb by $860,000.

Councilman Mikeal Vaughn said he was concerned about using the American Rescue Plan funds because they have to be allocated by the end of the year and spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

Colton said those funds would be expended first.

Norrick asked if the funds could be made available to complete the construction of the second pod.

Colton said the American Rescue Plan funds could be used for the construction.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.