Leaks in the 30-year-old roof have created numerous problems, including the destruction of some of the electronic equipment, according to Jail Administration Bob Sapp. Years of temporary fixes, however, are coming to an end.
“No more patching,” Sapp said.
Some of the higher estimates to replace the roof were around $900,000, he said.
But by using labor from the Floyd County Prison and purchasing the materials, the new roof is expected to come in under a set budget of $195,000.
Officials had to negotiate a special deal with the supplier to ensure the warranty would still apply with the roof installed by inmates instead of a licensed contractor.
“The realities of our revenue being what they are, we have to look at all projects this way now,” said Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell. “It’s getting the best bang for the taxpayer’s buck.”
Bids on the roof are to be approved by the Floyd County Commission at their meeting Tuesday. Work is expected to begin on Friday.
Sapp, who has served as jail administrator since January 2011, said fixing the roof has been a high priority for the Sheriff Tim Burkhalter and Caldwell.
During a mock fire drill in February, a report said the leaky jail roof had damaged the electrical wiring, ceiling tiles and lighting fixtures.
Also on Tuesday, helicopters will once again be used to lift heating and air conditioning units as the Sheriff’s Office did last year.
The Sheriff’s Office will be closed to the public beginning at 6 a.m. until about 1 p.m., according to Sapp.
The Sheriff’s Office has been replacing a dozen or so of the 60 roof-mounted units each year.
The new units are lowered into place via helicopter, which is cheaper than renting a crane, says County Manager Blaine Williams.
The County Commission caucuses at 11 a.m. and starts its regular session at noon in the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave, when it is expected to approve the roofing bids.