Lake County expands jail upgrade plans
By Rich Bird Post-Tribune correspondent June 25, 2012 9:04AM
CROWN POINT — The Lake County Board of Commissioners has increased the contract for the firm designing improvements at the Lake County Jail.
In November, the commissioners signed off on a $232,631 contract with Indianapolis-based RQAW to provide the initial design work.
Last week, attorney John Bushemi, representing Sheriff John Buncich, asked for an increase of $57,480 for additional work to comply with the renovations required by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bushemi said the additional duties include changes to the medical screening and intake areas for inmates, as well as changes involving a web-based video conferencing system that will reduce the number of prisoners who need to be transported to the court building for hearings.
The additional funds, which the commissioners approved unanimously, will come from the same $7 million bond issue being used to settle lawsuits stemming from claims of overcrowding at the jail.
The commissioners will consider awarding a contract for the construction work at their first meeting in July. Five companies have bid for the project at an average of $3.5 million.