Audit set for the new juvenile hall
Nevada County’s General Services Department will commission an independent audit of the juvenile hall construction project.
Cost overruns at the newly dedicated Carl F. Bryan II Juvenile Hall have bumped the facility’s original construction cost from $5,036,576 to $5,413,823.
“It would be my hope that we can get an accounting of where the cost overruns came from,” said Supervisor Bruce Conklin during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
The audit is part of the funding requirements for the $5.39 million grant the county received from the state Board of Corrections to build the hall, said General Services Director Dennis Cassella.
The audit is required to ensure that “all the payments we made for the work done were in conformance with the contract and the state’s requirements,” Cassella said.
Cassella said the audit is nothing unusual.
“It’s a requirement of using state funding, and we don’t expect any difficulties,” he said.
The cost overruns are linked to a dispute between the county and the project’s general contractor, Allen L. Bender of Sacramento.
Alleging that delays caused by the county put the project behind schedule and led to the cost overruns, Bender filed a $845,253 breach-of-contract suit in October 2001.
Originally scheduled for completion last June, the project has been hampered by weather delays, unforeseen site conditions, and cleanup of a debris pile unearthed during excavation.
Cassella said the pending litigation will affect the final cost of the project, which currently stands at $8.27 million when utilities and other items are included.
“It will probably be late summer until we have a final settlement on all those issues,” he said.
On the bright side, county officials hope to soon have juvenile offenders moved from the old, overcrowded 19-bed hall to the new, state-of-the-art 30-bed facility.
Cassella said the Board of Corrections will conduct a final inspection of the hall this week.
It will take a week to 10 days to install the hall’s final fixtures and furniture, and then minors will be moved some time during the latter part of this month or early March, said Doug Carver, the county’s juvenile detention facility superintendent.
“Hopefully, by the second week of March I can call you from the new hall and tell you we are down there,” Carver told the board.
County officials say the new hall’s expanded capacity will allow for more quality rehabilitation programs that look beyond incarceration.
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