MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors today approved the proposed plans and specifications for security upgrades to the jail portion of the county’s Law Enforcement Center.

Sheriff Kevin Pals says the current security system is original to the facility.  “It’s 17 years old and we’re just trying to update and replace existing equipment. It’s all hardware, there is some software involved, but most of it is hardware.”

Pals says they worked closely with Modus Engineering out of Des Moines to come up with a plan. He says the county originally budgeted $600,000 for the project, but with rising costs, that amount could be more in the $1.4 million range.  “Obviously the $600,000 that we had budgeted for this, according to the engineer’s estimate, is very low. I’m not sure what’s going to happen when the bids come back. I guess at this point we prefer that we go forward, get some bids back, and decide as a county what we’re going to do or how to overcome the expense if it does come back double what the estimate was. Just to clarify, the estimate was never an engineer’s estimate because we didn’t want to spend any money to have somebody give us an estimate.”

Bids for the project will be due into the county on June 13th. The project’s completion date would be August of next year. 

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