PRINCETON — The Bureau County Board on Tuesday awarded a project bid to upgrade the grounding grid system for the communication tower at the county jail.
The lowest bid came in at $38,985 from JB Contracting of LaSalle.
On Thursday, Building and Grounds Committee Chairman Kristi Warren confirmed the upgrade will provide proper grounding work to help prevent lightning from striking the jail’s communication system and creating future damage to the jail’s equipment.
Warren said the jail communication system has been struck by lightning four times in the last two years.
Earlier this year, the county board agreed to have E & S Grounding Solutions of California complete a study on the communication tower in an attempt to find ways to better ground the tower. E & S Grounding Solutions came up with long-term and short-term solution plans.
In July, the county board agreed to move forward with the short-term plan. As previously reported in the Bureau County Republican, the long-term plan would be much more involved and expensive. It was determined if the county board was to approve the long-term plan, they would want to make sure the jail and communication equipment would stay at its present site — which is an unsure plan if building improvement plans of the jail were ever to come to light.
The upgrade project to the communication tower is expected to begin within the next couple of weeks.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Warren warned there may be a change order for the project because the tower is more than 100-feet tall. The tower size might effect whether a lift or a crane has to be used to do necessary construction on the tower.
Warren also gave a status update on the jail’s Zetron Console communication device, which was damaged by the most recent lightning strike at the jail. The device had to be replaced at a cost of $80,000.
It was just discovered the cost of the new console has been covered 100 percent by the insurance company.
“We we’re very very happy about that,” she said.
In other news, the board:
• Appointed David Bickett and Bill Jensen to the zoning board of appeals; reappointed Deb Madsen, Sue Pratt and Jack Ackerman to the Bureau County Regional Planning Committee and Michael J. Henneberry as Bureau County Public Defender.
• Agreed to raise the starting salary of courthouse employees from $17,200 to $18,200, effective Dec. 1.
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