New estimate puts jail consolidation project nearly $10M above approved budget

MADISON, Wis. — Progress on Dane County’s jail consolidation project has stalled yet again due to inflated construction costs.

In a memo sent Tuesday to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, County Executive Joe Parisi said county leaders recently received up-to-date construction costs for the project, which will exceed the approved budget by $9.8 million.

Earlier this year, the county board approved an additional $16 million for the design and construction of a re-designed jail consolidation project, bringing the project’s budget to $165.9 after rising construction costs caused estimates to rise above the $150 million that was initially approved to combine three current jail facilities into one.

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Even with the design changes the county approved during its March 3 meeting, the re-designed project is above the county’s approved budget.

“In short, if the County Board and Sheriff wish to proceed with the modified jail project as the Board previously approved, it will need to add approximately $9.8 million to the project budget, or make further reductions in design or a combination of the two,” the memo reads.

Parisi went on to say he’s asked county staff to draft a resolution for the county board to consider that would solidify the design change order for the county’s contractor and approve the additional funding that’s needed to complete the project.

“The board has to come together and decide how they want to move this project forward because if this project doesn’t move forward, the cost only continues to increase,” Parisi said in an interview Tuesday. “As we know, this inflation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.”

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The resolution would need approval from three-quarters of the county board and would need to be voted on by the board’s August 18 meeting so county leaders can finalize plans for the county’s borrowing.