Consolidated Jail For Jeff Davis Parish Could Happen By 2016

JENNINGS, LA (AP) — Groundbreaking on an $8.7 million, 200-bed regional consolidated jail could happen by early 2016.

         Project consultant Jerry Theunissen told Jefferson Davis Parish police jurors earlier this week that $10 million in state funding is ready.

         The Police Jury bought 17.5 acres of land off U.S. 90 west of Jennings for the project in 2014. The land was cleared this summer in anticipation of construction beginning soon.

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         Officials met Tuesday with city officials to discuss plans for water and sewer service at the property. The American Press’ Doris Maricle reports nearly $120,000 will need to be spent on hookups, lift stations and pumps to take care of the sewer waste. Theunissen says a final survey on the project is expected to be completed within a week.

         "Upon receipt of the survey, the architect will have the plans complete and ready for approval by the state facility and planning no later than Dec. 1," Theunissen said.

         Groundbreaking could take place in January or February.

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         Engineer Chuck Stutes of Meyer and Associates said preliminary plans for the project were submitted to the state in June and have been approved. Final plans should be submitted and approved by the end of the year, he said.

         "We've made a lot of progress," Stutes said. "Basically what we have left to do at this point is issue the final set of plans, then facility and planning will view and approve that. Once we have their approval and authorization to advertise, we can start advertising to receive bids, which hopefully we will receive bids before Christmas."

         Two small pieces of wooded land to the east and north of the jail site have been classified as wetlands and will not be included in the project, Stutes said.

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         The jail will add 138 beds to the current 62-bed jail and will help ease overcrowding and reduce maintenance costs.

         Police jurors have decided to not spend nearly $500,000 on a full-time project manager to oversee the construction project.

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