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Little Dixie Construction Company files protest for county jail addition project

Photo by Jay Forness

Little Dixie Construction Company has filed a protest with Cape Girardeau County after Penzel Construction Company was awarded the $45.5 million bid for the construction and design of a county jail addition.

Columbia-based Little Dixie Construction and Jackson’s Penzel Construction were the only two companies who submitted proposals for the project — which also included new roofs for the jail, renovations to the Sheriff’s office, new jail cell doors and renovations to the historic 1908 county courthouse in Jackson.

Both proposals were able to include the new jail addition and a roof replacement to the 1979 portion of the county jail/sheriff’s office building in the base bid, but Penzel’s bid also included a new roof for the 2000 jail addition and new cell doors.

Neither team included the historic courthouse renovations or renovations to the Sheriff administration office in their base bid, but they were included as possible additive scope options.

The bids were read and the county commission awarded the project to Penzel on Nov. 17.

Both teams received identical financial scores, as both construction companies bid the maximum amount of $45.5 million, but the county did score Penzel higher on its technical proposal. Penzel received a technical score of 54 points, seven points higher than Little Dixie’s technical score of 47.

Little Dixie filed the protest with the county on Monday, Nov. 28 — the last day the protest could be submitted.

“We will review their protest and respond back to them,” County Commissioner Charlie Herbst said, adding that there is no explicit time line for the response.

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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