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Lyon County to look at jail technology updates

MARSHALL — Lyon County is looking to replace important control systems at the county jail.

It’s a project that will take some research and preparation, said Sheriff Eric Wallen. He proposed getting help from an electrical engineer, and county commissioners agreed with that idea.

Wallen addressed commissioners at Tuesday’s county board meeting. The county jail’s current control system is original to the building, which was constructed in 2009.

By now, Wallen said, the system was past its useful life. However, he said, the company that built the system is now defunct, and the proprietary software used in the control system can’t be updated. Lyon County would need to replace the system, in order to help make sure the jail controls keep functioning into the future.

“It’s a rather large project,” Wallen said, but a necessary one.

County staff didn’t have specifics on what it might cost to replace the control system at Tuesday’s meeting. Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said the cost might be high enough to require a formal bidding process. “But at the end of the day, we want to make sure it works properly,” he said.

Wallen proposed hiring the same electrical engineers who worked on the jail project in 2009 to help with the RFP and design process for the project. They would have a good idea of how the current systems work, and what Lyon County would need in a new jail control system, Wallen said.

Stomberg said the process could start with a needs study.

County commissioners voted to approve hiring an electrical engineer to do a needs study on the jail control systems.

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