Nodaway County received a $291,008.50 grant to improve the jail and courthouse. Governor Mike Parson announced the state was giving out grants for these improvements. Nodaway County was notified March 24 for the receival via an email.
Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong and Undersheriff Scott Wedlock worked toward getting the grant for the county. The improvements will include door control systems, laundry capabilities and fire safety.
“We had just a few weeks to put all that together,” Wedlock said. “We worked in conjunction with the regional council of governments.”
The grant required a county match, so all together the total approved by the city project cost was $582,017 for the improvements. The buildings were built in the 1980s and have since worn down. The department has made notice of those things and decided to apply for this grant to help improve the buildings.
“A lot of things were never maintained to the level they should have been or they’re just worn out,” Wedlock said.
The department worked directly with the Nodaway County Commissioners, which included an intern from Northwest. Wedlock said the intern was a huge help in the process of applying for the grant and getting all of the necessary information.
Safety is one of the main concerns for improvement with the grant money. Strong said there was a fire a couple of years ago an inmate set, and the building filled with smoke, making it dangerous for both the employees and the inmates while they were trying to evacuate.
“We have to provide them a safe place, medical attention while they are here and feed them,” Strong said. “So we have an obligation to make sure, while we keep them confined as ordered by the court, that we do that in a humanitarian process.”
The door upgrades will help make the building safer for the staff. Incase of a dangerous inmate, all of the doors need to be functioning and locking properly. Strong said these upgrades should have been done years ago, and they are finally going to be taken care of.
Wedlock said the jail building requires frequent maintenance because there are a lot of people who come in and out.
The closing date from the grant, when the money has to be used and the repairs made, is June 2026, so it will be an ongoing process, and there is no specific timeline being followed.
Vendors will now be looked for to hire to help with the repairs on the buildings. The bid processes are being started, so the construction and improvements can start. There is no order in which the improvements will be made, it will be going off of the bids received and who is available to do the improvements and when.
“I think we’re just excited we were able to capture this grant with the help of the Commission and Northwest Regional Council of Governments to write the grant,” Wedlock said.
There will be another meeting soon with the Department of Public Safety, which is going to administer the grant, to sort out the bid process and set it to start.
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