Jail project bids too high

LISBON — About two months ago, Columbiana County commissioners decided to spend some of their CARES Act funds to remodel the minimum-security wing of the county jail. The section, which was converted from a county nursing home in 1998, has been in a bad need of an upgrade, so the section will be enhanced to account for COVID-19.

The project has since hit a slight bump in the road, as all nine bids exceeded 10 percent of the estimate. The initial estimate for the project was $250,000. Since 10 percent of $250,000 is $25,000, the lowest bid the commissioners could have accepted was $275,000.

“The bids that we received for the COVID-friendly version of the jail was above the 10 percent estimate,” Commissioner Mike Halleck said.

The lowest bid was $318,000, so the commissioners approved the rejection of the bids. Howells and Baird, an engineering/design firm out of Salem, will be looking at the project and redrawing the scope of it.

In other action at the meeting, commissioners approved the Red Ribbon Week Proclamation from October 23-31 for drug prevention awareness. Prevention Educator at the Family Recovery Center Joseph Mellinger attended Wednesday’s meeting to explain the week to the commissioners.

According to Mellinger, due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in drug overdoses in the county and state. Along with the proclamation, the Family Recovery Center is doing a community response.

“We encourage you to participate in drug prevention education activities, not only during Red Ribbon Week but also throughout the year, making a visible statement that we our strongly committed to a drug free lifestyle,” the proclamation said.

The commissioners also changed some dates of the meetings due to various holidays that fall on the regularly scheduled meeting days.

The commissioners will meet on Tuesday for the first two weeks of November at 9 a.m. There will also not be a meeting on Nov. 25. For the last meeting of the year, the commissioners will meet on Dec. 31.


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