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Woodbury County will be using more COVID-19 recovery funds to cover costs for new jail

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SIOUX CITY — The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors has approved the use of additional COVID-19 recovery funds for a project tied to the new county jail.

The board agreed to earmark $550,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to install utilities as part of the 28th Street improvement project. 

The joint county-city street project will pave 28th street from Highway 75 to Outer Drive and extend water, sewer and gas lines and and fiber optics to the new Law Enforcement Center.

County Building Services director Kenny Schmitz said HY Consulting, a Columbia, Maryland-based consulting firm hired by the county has approved of the use of American Rescue Plan funds for the street project items.

The county will spend $132,492.50 for fiber optics and $796.141.50 for water and sewer.

A bid of $2.69 million by Sioux City Engineering Company was approved in July 2021 for paving the street extension, with a total cost estimate of $3.16 million, which included additional costs for fiber optic, additional gas main, easements, architect and engineer fees and project contingencies. As of August, the costs totaled $2.98 million due to contract change orders.

The city is paying for $2.8 million for the construction and $300,000 for an MidAmerican Energy facility addition, but the county was responsible for the rest of the 28th Street costs.

County Finance Director Dennis Butler said because the cost of the project has risen, they are going to use the ARPA funding instead of cash reserves.

He said the allocation is up to $550,000, meaning some could return to be used in other ways. He said there is around $1.4 million in county ARPA funding yet to be allocated.

To bridge the gap between actual costs of the overall LEC project and the voter-approved bond, the Board of Supervisors has allocated $10 million of the ARPA relief funding to the construction project.

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