Bay County Is Getting a New Jail

By: Sabrina Zimring
By: Sabrina Zimring

Bay County commissioners have received proposals from the Corrections Corporation of America and Emerald Correctional Management. Both bidders made presentations to the commission Tuesday afternoon.

Commissioners are taking two weeks to review the proposals and financing, and ask questions.

"I think any commission need to be informed when they make a decision it’s a long-term decision. For them to take the time to make an informed decision makes sense."

Commissioners agree the difference in cost is confusing, and they need time to review the numbers.

"Our project ends up costing $80 million, and there's costs $100 million."

Commissioner Gainer says nothing is set in stone.

"The way these bids work, we're not bound to any one part of it; if we want to take the finance portion out and apply it somewhere else we can do that."

Commissioners want to see the new jail facility consolidated. The Emerald Group says environmental conditions will force them to build the new jail separate from the annex.
The Corrections Corporation plans to build the new jail attached to the existing building.

The Corrections Corporation has not done the soil testing and may have to change their plans if the results show similar environmental conditions.

"One reason for doing this was to put everything under one roof, and now that may not be on option."

The commission has the next few weeks to iron out wrinkles in the proposals and decide which bidder to go with. Both bidders have designed their plans as requested by the commission. The decision will likely rest on the most affordable option.


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