New bid in for detention center

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 11, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Juvenile crime is unfortunately an issue for Dallas County, and a costly one at that.

County officials are making what they see as a good investment into the community by constructing a detention center on Highway 14 E., just west of the Varner Education and Training Facility – also known as “boot camp.”

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County Commission Chairman Kim Ballard reported the second bids were in, with Lovelady Construction being the low bidder. The project will cost $2.2 million and take approximately 11 months to construct.

“The first year will probably be pretty tough,” Ballard said, financially speaking. “We do have the capability to pay for this as we go.”

The first bids were well over $3 million, Ballard said. Some revisions were made to the original architectural plans, which significantly cut costs.

According to architectural plans by McKee and Associates Architecture and Interior Design of Montgomery, the facility will be capable of housing 12 male occupants and eight female.

The county currently sends juvenile offenders to the Hale County detention center. If that facility is full, other options have to be sought. Detaining juveniles in outside facilities is costing the county more than $250K per year.

Several residents of County Road 263 approached the commission for a second time regarding the condition of the “clay” dirt road. Residents complained of the fine dust problem when the road is dry and extremely muddy conditions when it rains.

“The house we just built is a whole different color,” Calvin Edwards Sr. said of the amount of dust coming from the road.

The residents thanked Commissioner Roy Moore for his responsiveness to their calls, as truckloads of dirt have been placed on the road, but asked “for a more permanent solution” to their problem.

“We care about our community,” Pamela Carmichael said. “We want our community to look nice.”

Moore responded that he plans to pave the road when funds become available.

“If I could solve that problem today, I would,” Moore said.

In other business:

Dale Neilson, of the county engineering department was recognized as he retires after 24 years and 5 months of service.

Dallas County 4-H-ers were recognized for their outstanding performance at this year’s county and regional event.

Discussion of the LUCA program that will allow the Census Bureau to obtain the names and phones numbers of county residents from the 911 office was deferred until the June 25 meeting.

Ballard reported the editing on the proposed Litter Ordinance has been completed and is ready to be advertised.

Commissioner Curtis Williams was designated as the voting delegate to represent the county at the National Association of Counties (NACO) conference.

The commission unanimously voted to support the West Alabama Public Transport as Public Carrier.

Matt Logue, owner of Twin Rivers Land Company, and Jamie Autery of Autery Land Surveying presented plans for Twin Rivers Preserve subdivision to be approved by County Engineer George E. Jones. The roadways were built to county specifications, but will not be maintained by the county.

“It’s been a very good experience working with Dallas County,” Logue said.