By Alex Bridges
FRONT ROYAL -- Regional jail officials still have work to do to make sure the facility can open July 1.
The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail Authority Board on Thursday awarded contracts with companies for various services needed to run the facility. Earlier in the day, the board's finance and transition committees discussed several of the proposals submitted by interested firms. The committees made their recommendations.
The board accepted a proposal from and awarded a contract to InterAct for $191,192 for jail management services contingent on the connectivity requirements outlined in the initial request for proposal. Board members had discussed the desire to allow local sheriff's offices to have remote access to jail records. Concerns were raised over whether or not connectivity would add to the cost of the services, said Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter.
The authority received four proposals from firms offering banking services to the agency. The board approved a contract to Wells Fargo. Proximity played a role in the board's selection of the Wells Fargo, said Chairman Douglas Stanley, also county administrator for Warren County. Shenandoah County Supervisor Conrad Helsley abstained from voting on the contract award. The board also awarded a contract of $47,675 to OpenRDA to provide financial software for the jail. Stanley said the jail's budget did not include funding for the financial software, but the money needed comes from savings in other areas.
The board also awarded a contract for radio communications services and equipment to Teltronic for $87,436.
The board heard an update on staffing efforts from Michelle Draper, chief financial/personnel manager for the jail authority. The first class of recruits is expected to begin firearms training next week. Graduation is scheduled for March. Jail staff members are interviewing another 60 potential recruits. Forty of them will be sent to the Rappahannock Criminal Justice Academy for training, Draper said. The authority will begin advertising the remaining position soon, she said.
James Marstin, the owner representative for the project, updated the board on the construction. The contractor, Howard Shockey & Sons, is expected to reach substantial completion of the jail by April 9, Marstin said. He noted that the contract originally called for completion by March 28. The contractor received an extension of nine days that included extra time to install additional security features. Marstin explained later that the contractor has 30 days from the substantial completion to reach final completion of the project.
Leaks detected in the roof months ago have since been fixed, though a final inspection is needed, Marstin noted, in response to a board member question.
Cary Hennighan, of Moseley Architects, showed the board photos of the work underway in the facility.
The public may also have a chance to tour the jail before it opens and begins housing prisoners. The board agreed to open the jail to the publi June 26. Officials may hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the jail following the board's regular meeting that afternoon.
Law enforcement agencies in the three participating counties are expecting to transfer prisoners from their local jails to the new facility that weekend.
The board met in closed session to talk with the authority's legal counsel, Brendan Hefty, about its construction-testing contract.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org