John Hansen


Costs have gone up.

John Hansen of Midwest Construction Consultants recommends a $6.85 million bond referendum for a new jail. This do-not-exceed number would be about $400,000 more than the amount recommended in the failed August bond referendum.

That’s because material costs have gone up 10 to 20 percent, Hansen said. Bids recently came in for the jail in Delaware County at about $800,000 more than expected.

In Jackson County’s second bond vote for a new jail last August, the land would have cost about $200,000 more than it would in the current plan. However, the county also had a $300,000 donation toward the project that expired when that second bond vote failed.

The tax difference for increased costs of construction would be relatively minimal, about 2 cents more per $1,000 taxable value, Hansen told the Jackson County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Assuming today’s slightly lower bond interest rate, the estimated tax increase to pay for a new jail would be $23.44 on a $100,000 home, exactly $1 more than the estimate earlier this year. The tax increase to pay for a new jail would be $22.62 on 640 acres of average-value ag land, a little less than a

dollar more than the estimate for the August bond asking.

Supervisor Jack Willey again expressed skepticism about the size of administrative areas in the jail. Hansen and Chief Deputy Sheriff Steve Schroeder explained the reason behind a training room and the size of the evidence storage space.

“We’re sold,” Willey said, but added that the public will still need to be convinced. “I don’t want to have to go to a fourth vote,” he said.

Hansen and Schroeder also sought to address issues that they’d heard were concerns in the second vote. For example, the planned 50-bed jail could be staffed without making any additional hires, Schroeder said.

The supervisors have not yet set the date for a third bond referendum vote. To hold the third election on March 3, the supervisors must set the date by Jan. 14, county Auditor Alisa Smith said.

“Costs are not going to go down,” said Supervisor Mike Steines.