Dedication and ribbon-cutting for Rocca Park Blacksmith Shop and Museum in Jamestown

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will take a break at noon and travel to 18226 Main St. in Jamestown for a dedication and ribbon-cutting of a blacksmith shop and museum at Rocca Park.

Remarks by supervisors and people involved in the project are scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m., followed by the ribbon cutting, site tour and lunch at Jamestown Community Hall from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

A Fresno-based construction company is at the top of the list for a $39 million contract to build a 63,000-square-foot jail in Sonora.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will consider awarding the contract to Harris Construction Co. Inc., which submitted the lowest of three bids. The public meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday on the fourth floor of the County Administration Center at 2 S. Green St. in Sonora.

Construction is slated to begin in March and be completed in 2019 if the contract is approved by board as well as the state of California, which is covering $33 million of the construction costs.

County officials are calling the new jail the J.H. “Jack” Dambacher Detention Center after former Tuolumne County Sheriff John Henry “Jack” Dambacher, who served from 1922 to 1946.

The 230-bed jail would replace the 147-bed facility at 175 Yaney Ave. that was constructed in the 1960s. The old jail has been frequently criticized in annual reports by the Tuolumne County Civil Grand Jury as outdated and unsafe for both inmates and staff.

Bernards Bros. Inc., based in San Fernando, and Broward Builders Inc., based in Woodland, submitted the other two bids at about $42 million and $40 million, respectively.

According to county documents, Harris Construction Co. Inc. was determined to be the lowest responsible and responsive bidder after each bid was reviewed by the County Counsel’s Office and Moss Construction Management.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $48 million.

Additional costs beyond the $39 million for construction include: $2.5 million for unforeseen contingencies; $1.7 million for architectural services; $1.4 million for construction management; $832,000 for insurance; $775,000 for specialty equipment; $607,000 for testing and inspection; $500,000 for furnishings; $301,000 for electrical services; and $294,000 in water and sewer connection fees from Tuolumne Utilities District.

While the state provided two grants for $33 million, the additional $15 million is planned to be covered by the county mostly through taking on debt.

The board is also scheduled to consider a tentative financing plan for the jail as well as other projects related to the Law and Justice Center and county’s technology infrastructure at Tuesday’s meeting, but no information on the proposed plan was available as of Friday afternoon.

Building a new jail is part of a larger plan for a Law and Justice Center off Old Wards Ferry in Sonora proposed since the early 1990s that includes the recently completed $20 million Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Facility and $2 million Tuolumne Transit Center.

A $65 million new courthouse is also planned for the center and would be entirely funded by the state, but it’s currently on hold due to a lack of money in the state budget for court construction.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.

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