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Lyon Co. gets ball rolling on jail security project

Commissioners approve $35,000 for engineering services proposal for security updates

Photo by Deb Gau Jay Hruby, of consulting engineers EDI-Dolejs, and Lyon County Sheriff Eric Wallen presented an update on jail security at Tuesday’s county board meeting. While the jail was in good overall condition, parts of the current security systems need to be updated or replaced, Hruby said.

MARSHALL — The electronic security systems at the Lyon County Jail are around 12 years old, and it’s time to update or replace them, Sheriff Eric Wallen said. County commissioners got the ball rolling on security updates on Tuesday, by approving a $35,000 proposal for engineering services.

It’s still unknown exactly how much updates would cost, but Jay Hruby of consulting engineers EDI-Dolejs said he could provide commissioners with an estimate as the design process got further along.

Hruby gave commissioners an overview of security needs at the jail during their regular meeting on Tuesday.

“Some things need updating, and some things are fine,” Hruby said. On the positive side, the jail was in good condition, and some key parts of jail security didn’t look like they needed to be replaced, he said.

Last month, commissioners approved Wallen’s request to hire an electrical engineer to study the jail control systems. The jail’s current security control system is original to the building, which was constructed in 2009. Wallen said the system is past its useful life, but the proprietary software it uses can’t be updated, and needs to be replaced instead.

Hruby said he worked on the design for the jail control systems 13 years ago. After touring the jail with Wallen and studying the current condition of its security systems, he said, “The jail is looking great, just from a general condition.” But some of the security systems and software, as well as equipment like security cameras and intercom systems, were in need of being updated or replaced. In the time since the jail was built, security cameras have gone digital, and allow for better camera resolution and data storage, he said.

Some parts of jail security, like the secure doors and locks, needed maintenance but didn’t have to be replaced.

“That’s a big cost, so there could be some savings there,” Hruby told commissioners.

Hruby said EDI-Dolejs were proposing to design the security updates for the jail and provide plans and specifications, as well as coordinating the bidding process with secure electronics companies.

“You’ll get that competitively bid,” Hruby said. EDI-Dolejs would try to avoid getting the county into any proprietary arrangements with software or security systems, he said. The plans would also be designed so that in a worst-case scenario, jail security would still function with keys.

EDI-Dolejs was proposing a lump sum fee of $35,000 for its services, Hruby said. He didn’t have cost estimates for the security project itself, but he said he could give commissioners a preliminary estimate as the design process got further along.

If the county approved the proposal, Hruby said, the design process would be finished in a month or two. That means the security updates could go out for bids around April, and the bidding process would be finished in another three weeks to a month.

Commissioners voted to approve the engineering proposal.

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