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Woodbury Co. LEC adds 2nd law firm, explains what happens if it's not finish by deadline

Woodbury County's new LEC progress in March 2023. (Siouxland News)
Woodbury County's new LEC progress in March 2023. (Siouxland News)
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Woodbury County's new Law Enforcement Center is still on track to open in September, but they are putting people in place in case it doesn't.

The LEC approved a letter of engagement with a second law firm, Stinson LLP, on Friday morning to help ensure the new jail project gets done on time. This second set of lawyers is to possibly assist later in the year if there are hiccups along the way. Officials on the project say that if they miss the September 14th deadline, it would cost the county taxpayers a minimum of $15,000 a day. This number is based on an example of housing 100 federal inmates.

Some members of the board were questioning this motive saying, “We better have all our ducks in a row to be ready for that deadline.”

They said they hope everything comes together, but if there is an outside possibility it doesn't, they want to be prepared for anything. On top of that minimum loss cost for federal inmates is the potential cost for additional meals at the LEC, and the Sheriff's Office has already started bringing on new staff to be ready for opening day. Building services of Woodbury County were also at Friday's meeting, concerned saying a setback would impact their budget for services that are tied to the current LEC.

“These penalty numbers are just a minimum," adding that would also impact a number of other things, like delaying the closing of the current LEC, tied into contracts with tons of current vendors which costs the county money.

“It’s our hope everything comes together. But there is an outside possibility it may not. And we want to be prepared for anything," Wieck said during the discussion before the board approved the second law firm.

They discussed that they are hiring this firm hoping they never have to use it, and trying to make a decision to protect the money of the county taxpayers. Ron said, “we will not cut corners, so at the end of the day, we will have a facility that will last. I believe that this will help make that happen.”

There are several updates that can be seen at the jail site. Right now they are building the scaffold to put in the jail cells as soon as the first week of April. They are still working on the roof and ceiling, as well as duct and electrical work. Lots of work on the interior is happening..

The winter weather conditions have slowed down the work for the exterior like the parking lot and sidewalks. Officials say things are changing every day.

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