County Commissioners Approve Contract for Detention Center Upgrades

County Commissioners Approve Contract for Detention Center Upgrades

SweetwaterNOW file photo

SWEETWATER COUNTY — The Sweetwater County commissioners approved a contract for engineering and design work for an upcoming project to replace the Sweetwater County Detention Center’s rooftop and air handling units.

The 2024 RTU-AHU Detention Center Replacement and Upgrade Project was budgeted for in last year’s capital projects budget.

“Believe it or not, the jail is approaching 20 years old,” Sweetwater County Public Works Director Gene Legerski said. “These units do have a life span.” 

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According to the professional agreement contract, Van Boerum & Frank, Inc. will be paid no more than $105,840 to look at the units and complete the engineering for replacements and upgrades. 

“This is to get the engineering done for the rooftop units, and while we’re at it we’re going to look at upgrading the air handling units,” Legerski said. 

In total, there are 18 rooftop units of varying weights, and two large air handling units with a smaller one on top, Legerski said. 

“What this allows us to do is look at all of them, have the mechanical engineer who designed them to go through everything, make sure air flows are right, make sure everything is right, and then look at replacing them all in a sequence or altogether, depending on funding,” Legerski said. 

The commissioners also unanimously approved a revised version of the detention center’s medical agreement with the county. The last time the agreement was revised was in 2015. The agreement is with a provider from Utah who comes every Tuesday, weather permitting, to meet with inmates for any healthcare needs. Undersheriff Joe Tomich said that the biggest change in the revised agreement will be cost increases.

In 2015, they were paying $5,000 a month, but the Sheriff’s Office as well as the medical provider did not notice the clause that said they were supposed to incur a 3% increase every year thereafter.

“So we did incur a $970 a month increase this year which will continue until June this year, and then there will be another 3% increase,” Tomich said.

Deputy County Attorney John DeLeon said that this agreement is a valuable resource for the county, as there are not many doctors that provide medical services in jails. He said this doctor also provides service in Teton County, as well as a few other Wyoming counties.

“I think it’s valuable to the county to secure this provider, and it does provide stability, reliability, and efficiency in terms of medical services in the jail,” DeLeon said.