Open by Thanksgiving?

By Kay Thompson
ONL Publisher

The Okfuskee County Commissioner’s met on Tuesday, September 4 for a regular meeting after the Labor Day Holiday.

Chairman Terry Wilson, Danny Wilson and Bruce Smith were all present.

During the previous week’s meeting, several bids were received for vehicles the County had declared surplus. At this week’s meeting, the Commissioner’s officially accepted the bids from Dusty Road Salvage to purchase the vehicles.

A check was received and therefore, needed approval from the Commissioner’s to deposit and process. County Clerk Dianne Flanders informed the board that they could not turn over the titles until the check had cleared. The board passed the motion to accept the check unanimously.

Also on the agenda was discussion with representatives from Atlas Construction and AIP regarding the new county jail. The commissioner’s put off the agenda item until the very end of the meeting to give the representatives time to show up.

However, they never showed. Smith then spoke about what he had been presented from Atlas at a different meeting. Sheriff Jim Rasmussen was also present to discuss the new invoice presented by Atlas.

Smith informed the group that Atlas wanted to charge them $108,000 more to fix the sally port and also take care of the drainage issue from rainwater and condensation.

Rasmussen pointed out that they are asking over $71,000 to put a chain link fence and $5,000 for automated gates around the sally port. He stated this amount seemed extreme to him and he would rather have a building constructed than a fence if the fence was to cost that much. “We can have something better for a lot less,” reiterated the Sheriff.

The commissioners asked why the fence was needed and Rasmussen stated the jail would not pass inspection if they did not have a secured sally port area.

Flanders reminded the commissioners that the lean-to structure attached to the jail now was a change from the original plans to save money.

Conversation also turned to the drainage issues discussed at the June 11 meeting. At that meeting, the construction crew told the board that the rain water and condensation from the large air conditioning units are causing the ground around the jail including the areas where vehicles will be driving to be saturated with water.

T. Wilson looked at the price for fixing the issue and wanted to know if it was for the total project or if it was just to dig the trench. Smith said he wasn’t sure. T. Wilson said that it’s not a bad price if it is for the total project.

A Jail Authority meeting will be held next week which at that time, the commissioners plan on getting clarification from the construction company.

Smith did update the rest of the board with the perspective time line for completion. The construction company said they would be ready to open by Thanksgiving. Smith said when he toured the facility there were still a lot of wires hanging out from the walls and a long way to go.

Asked if, in his opinion, it would be ready by then, Smith said, “I doubt it.”

The original completion date was slated for June and then was pushed back to Labor Day.

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