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Tuolumne County Supervisors Approve Contract For Jail Construction

Sonora, CA — The board of supervisors voted to approve a $39.1 million contract with Harris Construction out of Fresno to build the new Tuolumne County Jail. The company had the lowest of the three bids received. The highest submitted was $41.7-million.

The overall jail project is expected to cost the county closer to $50-million, however, when factoring in things like architectural services, construction management services, contingencies, project insurance, furnishings, specialty equipment and water and sewer connection fees. The county is receiving $33-million in state grant funding to go towards the construction.

In a separate measure, the board approved tentative plans to borrow up to around $19-million to cover the excess law and justice center related costs. The county is planning to do a 30-year loan with an interest rate of 3.5-percent. District Five Supervisor Karl Rodefer summed up, “There really is no alternative. I share concerns about the amount of money, but I also recognize that it is just something that we really need to do in order to do the most basic of jobs that county government is entrusted to do, and that’s public safety.”

The new jail will have 230 beds. It will join the new juvenile detention facility, transit hub, and eventually a courthouse at the site off Old Wards Ferry Road. Click here to read an earlier story comparing the current jail facility with the future site.

Those in the audience today gave a round of applause after the contract vote was taken.  CAO Craig Pedro noted that it is the largest project Tuolumne County government has undertaken. The $39.1 contract is pending state approval, which is expected in late December.