Wayne County suspends new jail construction for 60 days - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Wayne County suspends new jail construction for 60 days

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Tim Killeen asks a question during a special meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. Tim Killeen asks a question during a special meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Construction of the new Wayne County Jail will stop for 60 days because of overruns to the tune of about $100 million.

"During the last few days, there has been a fair amount of misinformation circulating about the jail project," said June Lee, chief of staff for Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.

County officials tried to clarify that misinformation during a special meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

"As lay people regarding construction, most people would think if you're authorized for $300 million, you've told us you're going to spend $220 million, that will cover everything and everything meaning everything," said Commissioner Richard LeBlanc.

But everything is not known, and that is why Wayne County needs 60 days to review the project costs, as well as look at different options available, including a complete redesign of the jail, double bunking by inmates, outsourcing of services such as laundry and reducing the number of beds.

"Do we know why the general contractor didn't notice that?" asked Commissioner Tim Killeen.

The general contractor or a five member volunteer building authority that should've had oversight regarding the jail.

"The total project cost was supposed to be $300 million, and that total project cost is what's directly comparable to the $391 million figure. So it's not much better, but I just want to make sure that numbers are clear," Lee said.

What is not clear is who is responsible for the cost overruns. I would imagine we will find out within the next 60 days.

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