Jail project on schedule for 2018

ESCANABA — The ongoing Delta County Correctional Facility project is still on track to be completed late in 2018, Delta County Administrator Ryan Bergman said. According to Bergman, the project hit an important milestone earlier this month.

During its last regular meeting of the year, the Delta County Board of Commissioners approved a finalized version of the budget for the correctional facility project.

“We finalized the budget at $17.9 million, which includes about $15.2 (million) in construction costs,” Bergman said.

As part of this vote, the board also approved the final construction contract for the project.

“We had 28 … construction (subcontracts). Out of those, 22 were bid on by U.P. companies, and U.P. companies won 16 of them,” Bergman said. He also noted 13 of the 16 contracts that went to U.P. companies were awarded to companies in Delta County.

These included $2.7 million in contracts for plumbing and HVAC/mechanical work and equipment awarded to Berger and King, a $1.3 million contract for electrical work and equipment awarded to Master Electric, a $580,000 contract for building concrete awarded to Roy Ness Contracting and Sales Inc., and $475,000 in contracts for sitework, demolition, and site utilities awarded to DeGrand Construction. All of these companies are either based in Escanaba or have offices there.

Additionally, 22 of the construction contracts for the correctional facility project are using local labor on this project. The remaining six contracts, which are for highly specialized work, went to various companies in the Midwest.

Bergman said the board’s approval of this budget marks a turning point for the correctional facility project.

“We’ve … turned responsibility for the project entirely over to Miron Construction,” he said. Miron is the construction manager for the project.

This means the county is no longer responsible for cost overruns on this project.

“We’ve hired the construction manager to handle that responsibility,” Bergman said.

Over the next year, Bergman said, the county will work to line up available funds for addiction treatment and other programs at the new correctional facility.

“We’re (hoping) that we can turn negative situations into positive ones by reducing the rate of addiction for those individuals who cycle in and out of our justice system,” he said. Bergman noted that, due to the space issues at the existing Delta County Correctional Facility, this sort of programming could not have been offered there.

Construction work on the correctional facility should be completed next year, Bergman said.

“We’re still on schedule to be done with construction in late 2018,” he said.

If all goes well, the new Delta County Correctional Facility could officially open about a year from now.

“We’re hopeful to be operational by the end of the year,” Bergman said.

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