“This was an innovative idea, using inmate labor,” said Commissioner Garry Fricks, who led the meeting in the work-related absence of Chairman Irwin Bagwell.
“They had a contractor overseeing the inmates from the company we bought the materials from, so we still got the warranty,” Fricks said.
Assistant County Manager Noah Simon credited Jail Administrator Bob Sapp and the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office for cobbling together the money-saving plan.
Simon said the extra charges went toward more walk pads to protect the roof surface during maintenance and to extend the roofing over the jail parapets “leaving fewer spots for water to seep in.”
A small portion of the amount paid for new boots for the inmate laborers, who worked during the summer heat wave when temperatures on the roof sometimes topped 140 degrees.
“Their boots were melting and burning their feet,” Simon told the board.
Funding for the project came from the jail surcharge fund.
Commissioners also approved the addition, at $9,845, of a digital audiolog recorder for the countywide emergency communications system being built by Harris Corp.
Simon said the county’s IT analyst hired to oversee the system recommended the upgrade to the way 911 traffic is recorded and stored. Spending on the project still remains below the $23.6 million contract price.
“They have the equipment and workers on-site, and Tom (Bowen) has looked at this. It’s surely cheaper to do it now instead of later,” Commissioner Rhonda Wallace said.
The board again deferred several other change orders requested by Harris to pay for unforeseen costs at the tower sites.
Commissioner John Mayes said more details are needed about the actual expenses. He said some companies — especially those dealing with governments — purposely bid low to win a contract, then boost the price later with change orders.
Click to see an archived report about the countywide radio system proposals.