Franklin County commissioners on Wednesday awarded an $18 million contract to Lydig Construction of Spokane to expand and renovate the county's aging jail.
Commissioners a week ago opened five bids for the project, which also includes construction of a two-story building that will house the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, dispatch center, information services and Pasco Municipal Court.
The old jail is planned to be renovated as a maximum security facility.
After evaluating all five bid packages, project manager Larry Hueter said Lydig appeared to be the lowest bidder.
The bids included a base estimate for the remodel and construction of four 32-bed cell blocks as part of the expansion. Bids also included estimates for 11 add-ons, including additional cell blocks and items such as a water filtration system.
Bids ranged from about $18.7 million to $19.5 million with all 11 extras. The county's estimate was about$18.6 million for the total project.
The contract awarded Wednesday dropped several of the alternatives to keep the cost just over $18 million. The amended project includes the base remodel and expansion plus the two extra cell blocks -- for a total of 192 beds in the expansion -- and replacement of water pipes in the old jail.
Construction is being paid for by a 30-year, 0.3 percent sales tax increase voters approved in 2011.
Construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
w Also Wednesday, commissioners heard testimony on the proposed incorporation of Riverview, a new city in the doughnut hole area of Franklin County surrounded by Pasco.
Members of Citizens For Lifestyle Preservation submitted a petition last fall to incorporate the doughnut hole as a new city to block Pasco from annexing the area.
In response, Pasco annexed part of the area to reduce the population below the threshold required for incorporation. A lawsuit is pending in which the citizen group seeks to overturn the annexation.
Wednesday's hearing was part of a process in which the commissioners are required to determine whether the incorporation petition meets state regulations and can be sent to the ballot.
Commissioners tabled any decision until Feb. 4 because of the lawsuit.
-- Michelle Dupler: 582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @mduplertch