Stanislaus supervisors could have three finalists prepare proposals for jail facilities

kcarlson@modbee.comApril 28, 2014 

  • Also on the agenda

    Stanislaus County’s Board of Supervisors will meet at 9 a.m. today in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, at 1010 10th St., Modesto. The following items will be considered:

    • A public hearing on proposed fees for agricultural well permits, landfill charges and a new $26 surcharge for above-ground petroleum storage tanks. If approved, permits for irrigation wells would cost $700, with no change to the $578 domestic-well fee. On a 90-day trial basis, the county would cut the Fink Road Landfill tipping fee from $33 to $30 per ton to attract haulers that take garbage to lower-cost landfills outside the county.

    • Agreements to purchase easements for improvements to the intersection of Crows Landing Road and West Main Avenue.

Stanislaus County leaders will consider a short list of potential builders for the Public Safety Center expansion on Hackett Road.

Tuesday morning, the county could select three “design-build” teams to prepare best and final proposals for the expansion, which calls for two 192-bed maximum-security units, a 72-bed medical and mental health wing and support facilities. The budget for the facilities is $112.5 million.

The three builders – McCarthy Construction of Roseville, Hensel Phelps of San Jose and Balfour Beatty of Emeryville – would come up with alternative pricing for constructing the jail units with up to 240 beds, possibly providing for 480 maximum-security beds. The county would award the construction contract to the company that comes up with the best proposal. The two finalists not selected would each receive $50,000 stipends to compensate them for their work.

Patty Hill Thomas, a county assistant executive officer, said that is not the typical way a contractor is hired for a county project, but “it is done in the industry” and permitted under state law.

An extensive amount of design and engineering work goes into preparing the final proposals, Hill Thomas said. The company that wins the construction contract won’t receive a stipend, she said. Supervisors expect to see the final proposals in June.

“There is a lot at stake and we need to be sure we can deliver the maximum scope for this project,” Hill Thomas said. “You get one chance to do these and one chance to do them right.”

Stanislaus County is working with $80 million in jail construction money awarded by the state and wants to expand its jail capacity as much as possible. It had a jail-bed shortage before statewide public safety realignment in 2011 made counties responsible for incarcerating lower-level criminal offenders. That funding, coupled with $9.5 million in other funds available to the county, will pay for the expanded capacity and a reporting center for probationers.

About $23 million in county public facility fees will pay for support facilities, including an intake and transportation center.

In other action Tuesday, supervisors could award a $3.65 million contract for Modesto-based Simile Construction Service to build the probation reporting center. Simile had the lowest bid. The proposals from four other builders were as high as $4.4 million. Construction would start in the fall if additional approvals are received from the state. The reporting center could open in summer 2015.

McCarthy, Hensel Phelps and Balfour Beatty were among five companies that submitted proposals for the jail expansion. The county plans to start activating the additional jail beds in 2017.

The county also is developing plans for a 288-bed jail facility at the Hackett Road complex, which will be equipped for rehabilitation programs for inmates. In March, a state board granted $40 million to the county for that project. The county successfully appealed a previous state decision in January that had placed the county low on the list for the funds authorized by Senate Bill 1022.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209) 578-2321.

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