Bill for jail rises by $444,744

By Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat February 27, 2013 10:22 am

Unforeseen construction complications have added $444,744 to the price tag of a new jail and Sheriff’s Office building in Calaveras County.

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday reluctantly gave a 5-0 approval to the costs brought on by unexpected hard rock encountered in recent construction efforts on the $59 million project as well as 62 fire dampers required at the behest of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Project manager Ron Rhodes of Kitchell CEM said a pair of soil survey reports prior to digging indicated the rock would not be there.

Rhodes added that the fire damper cost initially came in at more than $531,000 but architect PSA Dewberry and other contractors worked with the county to reduce that bill to about $282,000.

Dewberry representative Mike Justice admitted the dampers had been omitted as an oversight.

The add-ons are within the realm of the project’s contingency budget, of which $1,241,360 has been used. The latest add-on brings the amount of the contingency fund used from 42 percent to 57 percent, Rhodes said, which is still not bad considering construction is on track to be completed in July.

“We are still in good shape,” Rhodes said.

The vote followed with an admonition from board Chairwoman Merita Callaway to Rhodes.

“As you know, we don’t like seeing these, so watch it closely,” Callaway said. “You are our representative.”