Commission approves final part of jail project

From left, Cole County commissioners Jeff Hoelscher, Kris Scheperle and Marc Ellinger, listen as Sheriff Greg White talks about the courthouse’s new sallyport, as county attorney Jill Ladue and architect Mike Carafeno listen.

From left, Cole County commissioners Jeff Hoelscher, Kris Scheperle and Marc Ellinger, listen as Sheriff Greg White talks about the courthouse’s new sallyport, as county attorney Jill Ladue and architect Mike Carafeno listen. Photo by Julie Smith.

The Cole County Commission on Wednesday gave its final approval for the last piece of work to have been done as part of the new Cole County Jail project.

Commissioners and Sheriff Greg White toured a new sallyport at the old county jail, behind the county courthouse, where renovations have been taking place since March.

For years, prisoners were brought into the courthouse and old jail through a door on Commercial Way, escorted by jailers.

“With this work complete, sheriff’s department vehicles will no longer have to park in the alley to drop off prisoners,” White said. “They will back into this area and and let out prisoners to await court appearances in a more secure way.”

White said his jail staff has gone through training on the new equipment in this area, which includes video equipment that can be monitored at the new jail, and the new sallyport will be in service starting Monday.

Prost Builders was the low bidder for the project at $229,556.

However, it was noted Wednesday that the work actually came in $23,500 under budget.

An opening in the existing north exterior wall was made and a freezer, cooler, non-load bearing walls and kitchen equipment were removed.

Water lines to the existing heating and cooling system were modified.

New interior and exterior lighting was added along with new power to the garage door and exterior, vehicle-exiting warning lights at the alley were put in.

The project was funded through capital improvements money in the county’s law enforcement fund and Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger noted this work was part of the plan approved by voters in 2007 when they approved funding the construction of a new jail.

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