Board may award jail-related contracts
Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, during its meeting Monday, is expected to consider awarding contracts for engineering and design work related to building a new jail/sheriff’s office facility.
The board’s jail committee is expected to make a recommendation concerning which firm or firms should be awarded the contracts. The matter is tentatively on the commissioners’ agenda for the meeting.
During its Nov. 4 meeting, the board approved seeking qualifications from entities interested in doing architectural-design work for a new jail and sheriff’s office. It also approved seeking qualifications from entities interested in providing construction-management services regarding the building of a new jail.
Those decisions do not commit the county to spending money to build a new jail, which would be located in the Chocowinity Industrial Park.
The qualifications were due Dec. 9. The jail committee reviewed them Dec. 11.
“The qualification packets will be reviewed on the basis of experience and expertise in similar past projects that will include the construction of a new detention center facility with attached Sheriff’s Office and 911 Center,” explained a notice about the request for qualifications on the county’s website. “The detention center will contain approximately 250 beds and total square footage of the facility is estimated to be approximately 85,000 square feet.”
At the board’s Dec. 2 meeting, Commissioner Stan Deatherage sought to have the entire board (at its Jan. 6 meeting) publicly grade requests for qualifications the county would receive regarding construction of a new jail and facility to house the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. That request was defeated by a 4-3 vote, with commissioners Jerry Langley (board chairman), Ed Booth, Robert Belcher, all Democrats, and Republican Al Klemm voting against Deatherage’s motion. Commissioners Hood Richardson, Gary Brinn and Deatherage voted for the motion.
Richardson, Brinn and Deatherage have said Beaufort County taxpayers cannot afford to pay for a new jail.
“They’ve already decided who’s going to get this RFQ. It will b rigged,” Richardson said at the Dec. 2 meeting.
Brinn commended Deatherage for coming up with the idea of having the submissions graded publicly.
At a meeting in November, Richardson told the commissioners who voted for the architectural RFQ item that they have already “picked your man” for that work.