‘We’ve got to do something’

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Austin County Judge Tim Lapham provided several options Monday for commissioners to review in an effort to determine how to proceed with a county justice complex.

The jail has been plagued with mold, and county officials have expressed concerns about contamination of documents and a lack of office space. There appears to be a consensus to move forward with a new or remodeled building; the question is how to pay for it.

Lapham provided several options and none were voted on but commissioners agreed to mull them over until the court gathers again in May.

“We’ve got to do something,” Lapham said. “We can’t operate the way we are forever. We’ve either got to fix our little problems or move forward with some kind of project.”

Options for the sheriff’s office and jail include the following:

Option 1 – Clean and replace necessary items due to mold; replace large front windows with smaller, higher-placed windows. Cost: $1 million.

Option 2 – Renovate old part of jail; new sheriff’s office/Justice of the Peace/courtroom; renovate dispatch area; new parking area. Cost: $13 million.

Option 3 – Option 2 plus second floor; additional parking; additional furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E). Cost: $20 million.

Option 4 – Option 3 plus third floor; additional parking; additional FF&E. Cost: $27 million.

With a 20-year or 30-year bond, the following options are on the table:

Option 1 – Pay from budget and reserves.

Option 2 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $923,000 with a 20-year bond; $738,500 with a 30-year bond.

Option 3 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $1.53 million with a 20-year bond; $1.13 million with a 30-year bond.

Option 4 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $1.9 million with a 20-year bond; $1.5 million with a 30-year bond.

Options for the sheriff’s office/jail/EMS stations include the following:

Option 1 – Clean and replace necessary items due to mold; replace large front windows with smaller, higher-placed windows. Cost: $1 million.

Option 2 – Renovate old part of jail; new sheriff’s office/JP/courtroom; renovate dispatch area; new parking area. Cost: $13 million.

Option 3 – Option 2 plus second floor; additional parking; additional FF&E. Cost $20 million.

Option 4 – Option 3 plus third floor; additional parking; additional FF&E. Cost $27 million.

Option 5 – Option 2; new EMS station Sealy; new EMS station Bellville. Cost: $15 million.

With a 20-year or 30-year bond, the following options are on the table:

Option 1 – Pay from budget and reserves.

Option 2 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $923,000 with a 20-year bond; $738,500 with a 30-year bond.

Option 3 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $1.5 million with a 20-year bond; $1.13 million with a 30-year bond.

Option 4 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $1.9 million with a 20-year bond; $1.5 million with a 30-year bond.

Option 5 – Principal and interest annual payment. Cost: $1.09 million with a 20-year bond; $852,000 with a 30-year bond.

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