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home : news : news Saturday, May 28, 2016

7/6/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Commission recommends four finalists for jail needs study

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

The Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission (CCJCC) June 27 approved four firms who responded to a request for proposal as finalists to complete a jail needs assessment as part of an effort to construct a new county jail. A total of 12 firms responded to the request for proposals.

The finalists are Dewberry of Peoria, Ill.; Prochaska and Associates of Omaha, Neb.; Shive Hattery of West Des Moines; and Venture Architects of Milwaukee, Wis. Costs for the study range from $47,106-$59,624.

Finalists will present their proposals to a subcommittee July 17, and the CCJCC is scheduled to make a recommendation to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors July 25 to award the contract, which would allow the board to vote on the proposal Aug. 5.

"I was quite impressed with the proposals we received," jail administrator Craig Eberhart told the commission.

The proposals are broken down into four packages - the jail needs assessment, pre-architectural planning, design of a new communications center and design of a new Clinton police department.

Proposals were evaluated and scored using a weighted measurement by Eberhart, CCJCC coordinator Brian McKenrick, communications director Eric Dau and building maintenance manager Corey Johnson on the basis of content and methodology, qualifications and affordability.

Eberhart said the evaluation team looked at cost separately from the other components to ensure it was not the only factor in making a recommendation.

Three of the four firms estimated the study could be completed in October of this year, while Prochaska & Associates estimated a completion date of May 2014.

Finalist firms present their proposals to a 14-person review committee July 17. The committee will include four representatives from CCJCC, one from the board of supervisors, two from the communications commission, one from the technical oversight board, two from the city of Clinton, one from the E-911 board and the three members of the jail facility planning committee.

Public safety authority considered

Sheriff Rick Lincoln reported the jail facility planning committee met June 10 and discussed establishing a public safety authority with the city of Clinton for construction of the new jail facility.

Iowa Code Chapter 346 allows counties to join with the county seat to incorporate an "authority" for the acquisition, construction, improvement and operation of public facilities.

Committee members reviewed information on the Scott County Public Safety Authority and met with county attorney Mike Wolf to review the process of establishing the authority, Lincoln said.

"So we're taking the first step toward the formation of a public safety authority," he stated.

The committee is continuing planning work to create a video tour of the jail. Lincoln said McKenrick looked into local firms about the project but was not impressed with what he saw, so he is looking into opportunities to partner with college students to create the video.

"We're trying to present that to the public so they understand the deficiencies in the jail," Lincoln said.

Officials hope to have the video ready in October, around the same time the needs assessment is expected to be complete.

GAPA looking at new software

McKenrick reported he met with representatives of The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics June 5-6 to discuss technical issues in the sharing of information among computer systems used by the sheriff's office, jail, communications center and court.

"One of the results that came out was an identification that one of our biggest hurdles is our current software vendor for the system used by law enforcement, and that would be Sleuth," McKenrick said.

Other law enforcement agencies were polled to see if there is interest in creating a Sleuth users group in order to improve customer service from the vendor, but there is no interest because most agencies are moving away from the Sleuth vendor.

Members of the Gateway Area Police Association (GAPA) will discuss options for new software packages at their next meeting since it doesn't seem prudent to invest more in the current software, Lincoln said.

Other business

In other business:

•The jail had four inmates being held out of county due to jail overcrowding as of June 27, Eberhart reported.

"We are shipping people out again," he said, adding it is a day-to-day decision based on the jail population.

"We have a lot of felons in our jail right now," he added.

•The clerk of court office at the courthouse will return to full-time hours Sept 3, clerk of court Kim Hess reported.

The office currently closes at 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays but will remain open until 4:30 p.m. when the change takes effect.

The change is the result of legislation providing additional funding to the state judicial branch.

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