Dakota County officials vote to move forward with next step of jail expansion

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:30 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:33 PM CST
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DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (KTIV) - Dakota County, Nebraska commissioners have taken another step toward a final decision on a proposed, multi-million dollar expansion of the county jail.

Monday night the Dakota County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to hire a construction manager to help them better understand the total cost of the jail expansion. That way, commissioners say, they can make a more informed decision on the expansion in the future.

“It involves getting some more plans from our architect and the construction manager will work hand in hand with the architect to look at materials and things that it actually takes to build a jail. This construction company has previous experience building jails so it will be very helpful,” said Robert Giese, Dakota County Board Commissioner.

The Dakota County Board of Commissioners’ vote Monday night, approved a pre-construction services agreement with Weitz Company, which is based out of Omaha, as the project’s construction manager for $25,000. The vote also allows the relationship between Dakota County and Shive-Hattery architecture firm in Des Moines to further develop the jail’s design at a cost of roughly $200,000.

The over $13 million proposed expansion would add 112 beds to the jail, which currently has 136 beds. The expansion would enable the county to house more federal inmates at a rate of $85 per inmate, per day, which would be paid by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. This is compared to the current rate of $60 per day.

Supporters say it could help pay for the expansion and provide property tax relief. While opponents wonder whether the role of the county government should be to run a federal detention center.

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