The newly formed committee overseeing the building of a new county jail met last Tuesday with the architects, Lee and Associates, and representatives from the USDA's public facilities board to review the plan moving forward.
The committee, named at last month's Quorum Court meeting, moved to hire Lee and Associates to begin working on the architectural plans for the facility, which came out with a bottom line estimate of $1.2 million, plus 7 percent architect fees. Thanks to a $200,000 grant from the USDA's public facilities board, the cost then drops to one million, which the county will pay for utilizing a loan from the USDA which the county will have 40 years to repay, thus negating the need for any new taxes to help pay for the jail construction.
"The completion date from the time of the start of construction to completion will be approximately nine months," said Fulton County Judge Charles Willett. "We hope to begin the dirt work in February. We're very glad to have found a way to responsibly pay for the construction of this new facility without implementing any new taxes."
The committee has also spoken with Randy Rankin, representative from state jail standards who will review the plans to be sure the new facility is in compliance before moving forward.
There was one change made to the committee when former member Jerry Blevins was named as project manager, leaving an opening, which was filled by Jo Ann Cunningham whose years of experience working at the current county jail can only be seen as an asset to the process. The committee will meet again in 15-20 days to review the first draft of blue prints from the architects.