(Caption: Inmate Lester Walker, 23, talks Tuesday about the new section of the DeKalb County Jail where he currently living.)
The total cost of the jail expansion was $36 million, according to DeKalb County Administrator Gary Hanson. He said it's too soon to tell whether the project will come out over or under budget considering about $28,000 in other miscellaneous costs, including an exhaust fan issue within the new jail.
"Hopefully we'll have something extra," Hanson said.
The project still had more than $25,000 left in its $900,000 contingency budget in April, even after the DeKalb County Building Commission approved an extra $7,325 to replace already-installed valves controlling water flow to inmate cells that had traces of lead in them. The contingency budget originally was set at about $663,000, which was before an initial bond issue from the county was moved to the leeway fund and allowances from Excel Electric, Stark & Son and Waukegan Steel added about $28,000 more.
In June 2017, the county issued about $33 million in bonds at a 3.6 percent interest rate for the project. Tipping fees – or a charge for waste haulers to dump trash – at Waste Management’s landfill near Cortland was set to cover about 90 percent of the annual payments, after it covers 100 percent of the cost in the first ten years, Hanson said.
Hanson said that will still be the case even after the City of DeKalb recently switched its disposal service provider. He said the landfill will pay for the remainder of the bonds, then new jail operations once the bonds are paid off and whatever's left over will go to a new radio communication system for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.
The landfill expansion has resulted in 500 tons of additional trash being dumped at the site a day. Sales tax proceeds will cover the remaining 10 percent of the cost to repay the bonds over 30 years.