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Cape County approves contract for jail addition

Photo by Jay Forness

The Cape Girardeau County Commissioners approved a $47,998,963 contract with Penzel Construction Company of Jackson and TreanorHL Architects of Kansas City for the construction and design of a county jail addition.

The contract includes the original base bid of $45.5 million, plus around $2.5 million to shell out an additional 40-bed addition to the jail that could be completed at a later date.

Penzel’s base bid included a $44,647,492 addition to the county jail, replacing the roof of the 1979 portion of the jail building, replacing the roof of the 2000 addition to the county jail and modifications to existing jail cell doors.

Renovations of the 1908 Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson were also included in the design-build project’s scope, but were not included in Penzel’s base bid and have not been included in the current contract.

The project will be partially funded by a $32.23 million loan from Webster Bank approved in August. The county will also use $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to cover some of the costs related to the jail expansion. The remaining funding will come from the county’s capital improvement fund and the sheriff’s fund.

County Commissioner Paul Koeper said the contract includes completion date of Dec. 31, 2024, for the jail project.

In other action:

• The commission approved a final budget for 2023, with minimal changes from the preliminary budget approved on Dec. 29. County Auditor Pete Frazier said the majority of changes from the preliminary budget were to add the actual balances remaining in the county funds at the end of the year.

At the end of 2022, the county’s general fund had an actual balance of $12,732,075, the sheriff’s fund had $6,791,136 remaining, the road and bridge fund had $3,269,652 on hand and the assessment fund had $370,154 remaining.

Budget requests for the county’s general fund total $9,749,839, which covers the operations of most county offices. $5 million was also budgeted to be transferred out of the general fund and used for capital improvement projects.

The sheriff’s budget requests, which also include the county jail and 911-dispatch center, totaled $14,975,457. The road and bridge budget included $6,200,928 in expenses and the assessment expenditures are budgeted at $1,036,002.

• The commission approved budget adjustments for the 2022 budget, amending both revenue expenditures to reflect the actual income the county received last year and any unanticipated expenditures approved by the commission throughout the year.

Frazier said that while the county keeps track of these changes throughout the year, the budget isn’t adjusted until the year ends for efficiency purposes.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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