The Lincoln County commissioners agreed on the cost of the jail expansion Monday and selected the general contractor.

The cost of the expansion will be just over $5 million. The contractor in charge of the project is Brown Construction of Kearney, which submitted the low bid. Other bids were submitted by Paulsen Construction of Cozad and Sampson Construction of Kearney.

The commissioners also agreed on adjustments to the project, including a reduction in the length of time that security video is kept on file. The storage period will be reduced from 90 days to 30 days, thereby saving $100,000.

Also, the existing detention center cameras will be replaced at a cost of about $44,000. The newer cameras will provide better coverage, especially on the outside of the building, Sheriff Jerome Kramer said.

An  d, the commissioners agreed to award the roofing sub-contract to Weathercraft of North Platte, even though their bid was $22,000 higher than the lowest bidder, AR Roofing of Witchita, Kan.

Weathercraft currently maintain the roof of the existing jail. The board said there would be less chance of a maintenance service dispute if they hire Weathercraft to install the new roof too, and also noted the North Platte company has virtually no travel time for faster service.

With that, the cost of the expansion will be $5,011,626. Commissioner Kent Weems moved to award the contract to Brown Construction and the board approved 4-0. Commissioner Joe Hewgley abstained because he is advising the architect on the project. The architect is TreanorHL of Denver.

Work is likely to get underway in late August, Brett Harsh of Brown Construction said later.


In other business, the commissioners:

  • Approved a change order with Paulsen Inc. for another 12.55 miles of road overlay. Paulsen is overlaying county roads that are listed on the one-year plan.
  • Approved a grant application to help the sheriff’s office with drunk driving enforcement for 18 days, from Aug. 21 to Sept. 7. The application is to the Nebraska Department of Highway Safety in the amount of $25,200, for more than 700 extra man-hours patrolling the roads.
  • Considered informal bids of about $25,000 for tuck-pointing and improving the entrance of the courthouse.
  • Discussed and considered some of the 500-plus property tax protests that have been filed. Protests will also be heard as needed on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. Protest hearings start at 9 a.m. each day in the commissioners’ room in the east end of the courthouse.
  • Accepted four Homestead Exemption applications although they were filed after the deadline, as recommended by the county assessor.