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Davison Co. Commission pleased with jail renovation

Two months after the Davison County Jail showers were replaced, local officials are happy with the result. The Davison County Commission toured the jail Tuesday as part of its weekly meeting, giving the five-person board its first look at the pro...

Davison County Commissioners Randy Reider, left, and Denny Kiner check out the new showers that were completed in June at the Davison County Jail during a tour on Tuesday morning in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Davison County Commissioners Randy Reider, left, and Denny Kiner check out the new showers that were completed in June at the Davison County Jail during a tour on Tuesday morning in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Republic)

Two months after the Davison County Jail showers were replaced, local officials are happy with the result.

The Davison County Commission toured the jail Tuesday as part of its weekly meeting, giving the five-person board its first look at the project that the Davison County Auditor's Office said cost the county $237,571. The shower project, which was overseen by Puetz Corp. and Mueller Lumber, cost approximately $21,000 more than the contractors initially proposed.

But before hearing the final cost of the project, Commission Chair Brenda Bode said the renovation was a priority and the money was well spent.

"We can't allow the building as a whole to deteriorate to a point where we can't afford to fix it," Bode said. "And I do see the showers as a high priority."

The renovation began in February and ended in June, according to Jail Administrator Don Radel. The work included a full replacement of the four shower stalls, replacement of the decaying walls, new tile flooring and areas affected by construction were repainted.

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Discussions to replace the jail showers have persisted for years, as paint chipped off the walls and rust accumulated on the steel showers. Radel said he's glad to have the project finished.

"It's a lot better looking, number one," Radel said. "You know, I think it's a lot healthier because you don't have whatever may be growing behind the walls that were exposed."

The major logistic issue the jail faced during the renovation was shifting the inmates around as the contractors completed the work. Radel said the 72-bed jail had to turn away inmates from other counties at times during the renovation, as 18 beds had to be closed during construction.

Radel said inmates had to be moved around the jail as contractors worked, sometimes moving a third inmate into a two-person cell.

"We got through it, I guess," Radel said. "It's a pain in the butt, but you just shuffle them around as best you can."

Other business

Before touring the Davison County Jail, the commission:

• Reset the weight limit on a bridge on 247th Street between 409th Avenue and 410th Avenue. The limit is now set at 80,000 pounds.

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• Held an executive session to discuss personnel issues. The closed-door meeting included the five commissioners and Highway Superintendent Rusty Weinberg.

• Set 10 a.m. on Oct. 5 for a tax deed property auction. The auction will be held at the Davison County Courthouse.

• Approved bills and an automatic supplement to the Office of Emergency Management..

• "With great regrets," the commission accepted the resignation of Bernice Houska, of the County Treasurer's Office. The commission also authorized the advertisement of a new employee for the Treasurer's Office.

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