The process of eliminating mold from the Austin County Jail continues, as commissioners voted Monday to proceed with an agreement to have Blackmon Mooring Texas Inc. remediate the hazardous conditions while using Giddings-based Gaeke Construction to create a temporary fix in the interim.
Blackmon Mooring’s website advertises that the company, whose corporate headquarters is in Haltom City, specializes in water damage recovery, fire and smoke recovery, mold remediation, construction, disaster recovery and document recovery.
The commission also agreed to move forward with a temporary wall built by Gaeke Construction that will allow prisoners to be housed in Austin County rather than being transported to Fort Bend County.
Judge Tim Lapham said after the meeting he expects the work on the temporary wall, along with some other renovations, will be complete by the end of February. Although it comes with a price tag of $183,000, Lapham said it ultimately will save the county money to house prisoners locally.
Once the mold was detected, Sheriff Jack Brandes created a temporary fix whereby intake and booking is done from a temporary trailer in Austin County and inmates are transported to Fort Bend County at a cost of $55 per head per day, which translates into about $400,000 over a six-month period. That’s been going on since August.
According to architect Kenny Burns’ report issued in September, it would take more than two years to design and construct a brand new facility. A 96-bed jail and sheriff’s office would cost about $19 million to $21 million, while a 144-bed jail and sheriff’s office would cost up to $24 million.