Lincoln County Jail expansion approved

By  | 

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Lincoln County Commissioners approved an expansion of the Lincoln County Jail.

Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer said the decision could not have come at a better time as they are experiencing "an explosion of inmates."

"With the added population of having out of county prisoners, our population has been pretty stressful for the employees and the inmates because we've been running as high as 155 inmates on a regular basis and we're really functionally full at 135," Kramer said.

Three commissioners voted for the project: Kent Weems, Walt Johnson and Jerry Woodruff. Chairman Joe Hewgley abstained from voting because of a conflict of interest. Board member Bill Henry was not at the meeting Monday.

"I think it's a good time for it, when you look at interest rates, it's just a great time for bonds and for construction," said Lincoln County Board Chairman Joe Hewgley.

The expansion will cost about $4.5 million and the project could break ground next spring.

Sheriff Kramer said the project will add 58 beds to the current 163 bed facility and construction would not interfere with jail operations.

Sheriff Kramer said a bigger jail could make $3.5 million dollars a year and create about eight more jobs.

"With the added population of having out of county prisoners, our population has been pretty stressful for the employees and the inmates because we've been running as high as 155 inmates on a regular basis and we're really functionally full at 135," Kramer said.

The expansion could be finished by winter of 2020 or spring of 2021.