Final move to new jail delayed due to water leak

Friday, May 4, 2018

Completing a move to the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center may take a little longer after a water leak was discovered in the facility Monday.

Bourbon County Commissioner Nick Ruhl said Friday a “90-degree elbow broke and ran water for at least eight hours” before the leak was discovered. The leak sprung in a hallway between the kitchen and laundry room of the new facility.

“Someone with the sheriff’s office had a worker back there and that’s how they found it,” Ruhl said. “Nobody was back there.”

Ruhl said the leak was stopped and workers were cleaning the area this week. He said he did not know extent of the damages caused by the leak, and commissioners are not sure how much repairs will cost.

Commission Chairman Lynne Oharah said Friday workers will have to repair sheet rock in that area.

According to the unofficial minutes of Tuesday’s commission meeting, Ruhl called Kevin Rost with Goldberg Group Architects regarding the water leak. Rost said the firm is working with the plumbing contractor’s insurance company.

“We’re waiting on the insurance company from the plumbers to figure out payments,” Ruhl said.

Oharah said he also did not know the extent of the damage, but that it was “limited” to a particular area.

“The contractors are working with the insurance companies right now to determine how to do the payments and they’ll fix it,” Oharah said. “The contractors are responsible for the damage.”

Ruhl and Oharah said they did not have an exact timeframe for when the move to the new facility will be completed. Oharah said there will be a delay due to the leak but “I don’t think it will be that long.”

“We’re looking at water bills; it’s gonna start costing real money,” he said.

The last several weeks, staff with the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office and Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center have been cleaning and moving furniture and other office items to the facility. Computers and IT systems at the facility are operational. Moving inmates from the current jail is the last step in the move.

“They were gonna move inmates this weekend but this happened,” Ruhl said. “I’m not sure how long it will take.”

The week of April 16, correctional officers participated in training to become more familiar with equipment and software that will be used as part of the jail’s security system.

The move to the new facility comes three years after voters approved 1,031 to 1,015 a .4 percent retail sales tax increase to repay a $6.85 million bond to construct the jail. The site for the new jail was chosen in November 2015 and paperwork was signed in June 2016, with a groundbreaking ceremony held later that month.

In September 2016, commissioners approved a guaranteed maximum price for the project of $6.9 million, which did not include cells, professional expenses or the land acquisition. Actual construction began in November 2016. A dedication ceremony took place in October, when the public was allowed to tour the facility.