Douglas County Commission to receive cost estimate for planned expansion of jail

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World File Photo

The Douglas County Courthouse is pictured in September 2018.

Douglas County officials will soon learn how much the planned expansion of the Douglas County Jail will cost.

The Douglas County Commission will receive an update on the expansion plans during its work session at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

County staff is expected to present an estimated cost for the project, which currently includes constructing a four-story tower on the south side of the jail to add between 84 and 112 beds to the facility.

The project may also include the construction of a “step-down unit” on the west side, but that portion was put on hold to allow county staff to research more alternatives.

County officials recently told the Journal-World that the expansion of the jail is needed to address capacity issues, even though the county has implemented several programs intended to decrease the inmate population. However, faith-based social activist group Justice Matters said that the county needs to explore more jail alternatives to address the capacity issues before authorizing a multimillion-dollar expansion.

In other business, the commission will consider making amendments to the 2020 fiscal year budget to make year-end expenses and transfers in several accounts.

The amendments would also allow the budget to account for the county receiving more revenue from local taxes than expected, according to the meeting’s agenda documents. Prior to considering the amendments, the commission will hold a public hearing on the changes.

The commission will also consider having United Way of Douglas County continue as the building manager of the facility located at 2518 Ridge Court or having the county directly manage the building.

The County Commission will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. Full agendas are available online at

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