Colusa jail project overcomes latest hurdle

526
The current Colusa County Jail.

While building a new jail in Colusa is long behind schedule, the project is far from dead, county officials said.

Colusa County just recently hurdled the latest roadblock, related to having clear tile of the property where the new 26,600 square-foot 96-bed facility is proposed to be built adjacent to the Sheriff’s Office.

While not exactly starting over, Colusa County Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler said the county can now begin to update the project, originally approved four years ago, with the changes and suggestions made by the fire marshal and other agencies during the initial review process.

“We are going to see increased costs,” Tyler said. “But we are moving forward with the project.”

The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office was first awarded a $20 million grant from Senate Bill 863 funding, in 2015, to replace its nearly 60-year-old facility.

The new jail was supposed to include an exercise yard, increased programming and classroom space, a modern medical office and examination room, dental treatment facility, new housing units that better separate male and female inmates, in addition to separate housing for more difficult or violent offenders.

The price for the new facility, however, was sitting at around $22.6 million just under a year ago, and the county anticipates the cost has gone up since then.

Tyler said the project manager is currently working on an update of the cost as the project was originally envisioned to present to the Board of Supervisors along with a final design for approval.

It is still unknown if the project will have to be scaled back, as was with the Tri-County Juvenile Rehabilitation (detention) Facility, when that project was delayed, but Tyler anticipates the Board of Supervisors will have the jail project to approve before the end of 2020.

“There will be more meetings with state agencies, so we will see, but we are moving forward,” she said. “At least we have seen progress.”