- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

ELKO, Nev. (AP) - Elko County commissioners are hoping to save time and money by tackling two phases of a jail-expansion project at once.

Commissioners on Wednesday voted to put the $3.6 million project out for bid. It will include construction of additional dorm space for women and a new wing for men.

The county had considered building the two phases separately, but decided it could save money if done together, the Elko Daily Free Press (https://bit.ly/1ixVyCC) reported.

Charlie Myers, commission chairman, noted there are costs associated with getting crews and materials on site.

“So if you mobilize twice, you have twice those costs,” he said. “This way we’ll only have it once because they’ll be here already. It makes more sense, and our whole thing is to try to save taxpayers’ money.”

The county also expects to see lower bids for the total expansion as one large project as opposed to two smaller projects.

The sheriff’s office said the jail expansion is overdue, given a steady increase in the number of inmates.

“I don’t see any other option with the population of the jail,” Sheriff Jim Pitts said.

There were 134 people in custody on Thursday morning, 14 above the jail’s capacity. Last year, the state issued a warning when the jail exceeded an 8-to-1 ratio of female inmates per toilet.

One phase of the project will add an additional 20 beds for the jail’s female population, and the new wing will allow the jail to up its male population by 80 inmates.

County Manager Rob Stokes expected the project will go out to bid in two to four weeks.

Construction could begin this summer.

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Information from: Elko Daily Free Press, https://www.elkodaily.com


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