Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims expressed impatience today with efforts to build a new county jail.
Sims called for quick action after listening to the architect hired to design the estimated $50 million facility lay out the options. Those still range from renovation and expansion, to replacement of the facility in the county government complex in Lebanon, to new construction on a new site on the edge of Lebanon.
Asked when he wanted to get started, Sims answered, “Last September.”
That was when the commissioners hired KZF Design, a Cincinnati firm that planned to collaborate with California-based Dewberry on the project, rather than Wachtel & McAnally, another Ohio-based firm favored by Sims and a committee set up to rate candidates for the job.
But negotiations broke down and the commissioners authorized negotiations with Wachtel & McAnally last month.
It has been more than two years since a Cleveland-based consultant presented the commissioners a study of the need for a new jail.
In January, the county sales tax has been increased 0.25 percent to cover financing of the project.
After today’s presentation to the commissioners, Wachtel & McAnally was meeting with Sims and his staff to weigh the options.
The architect was expected to come back to the commissioners with a recommendation as the county moved to pick a construction manager for the project.