Have you heard the rumors circulating about the new county jail to be built in Paris?
According to one rumor, the land where the jail is to be built — on county property on South Lowder Road in Paris — isn’t strong enough to hold the weight of the structure.
According to the other rumor, the jail will require a six-inch or a 10-inch water line and there’s not one close to the property.
Last week, Logan County Judge Ray Gack addressed those rumors.
“We’ve had the soil tested and the samples are good,” Gack said. “We’re not going to have to move it. We’re not going to have to move in a lot of material.”
As for the water line rumor, Gack said that’s a new one.
“We’ve discussed the water line needs with the city,” Gack said. “But I haven’t heard that rumor. I’m not aware of any problems with the water line.”
Gack and three members of the Quorum Court jail committee recently met with the architect and the construction manager for the project.
The plan is to build a new, 100-bed jail to replace the existing facility which was built in the late 1980s. The existing jail has been cited several times by the state’s Detention Facility Review Commission for violations of minimum standards. Earlier this year, voters overwhelmingly approved a 1 percent increase in sales taxes to pay for construction and operation of the jail. The new jail is estimated to cost around $11 million.
Gack said the meeting last week was set to get plans finalized.
“The final construction plans should be ready for approval in September,” he said. “The jail committee will look at them and see if they have any other recommendations. Then, we should get blueprints in four to six months. Then, we can put everything out for bid.”
Gack said work to prepare the site should begin the first of March. Gack added that construction should take between 12 and 18 months “if everything goes well.”