Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Butler jail bids below estimate

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The Butler County commissioners took a major step Mondaytoward a new jail by awarding $28.5 million in construction bids.

        The bids fell well below county officials' $35 million estimate.

        The county plans to build the jail on the former Deuscher foundry site on Hanover Street, south of downtown Hamilton. The 15-acre jail site will include land bought from CSX Transportation Inc.

        When the jail opens in about two years, it will hold up to 356 inmates. Eventually, the capacity will be 737 inmates.

        It will replace the existing 31-year-old jail on Court Street that was designed for 135 prisoners but often holds more than 200.

        In recent years, the county has been forced to release some inmates early. With the new jail, the county can discontinue that practice, said Brad Kraemer, spokesman for the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

        The general trades bid was awarded to Monarch Construction Co. of Norwood for $14 million.

        County officials will meet with contractors on Oct. 17 to plan a construction schedule.


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