WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Adding Cells

Oct 10, 2012

Lee County is moving ahead with plans for a roughly $500,000 expansion of its jail.

The Board of Supervisors hired Rick Weidner of Bennington, NE to design the expansion and Midwest Construction Consultants (MCC) out of Houghton, IA to oversee the project.

John Hanson with MCC says 28 beds will be added to a portion of the jail that was expanded and renovated in 2010.  He says the previous expansion was done in a way that put the infrastructure in place for future work.

The latest expansion is needed to address an increase in female inmates. 

20 of the new beds will be used to house women.  The rest will be used for male inmates.

Hanson says it could be several months before construction gets underway.  He says the materials will be collected before they are installed to allow for the least amount of inmate disruption.

There is one problem for the county as it does not know how it will pay for the expansion. 

The current budget includes no money for design or construction, which means borrowing the money is an option.