Due to project bids' coming in almost $5 million above the original estimate, the multi-million-dollar project to expand the Grayson County Detention Center has been put on hold temporarily.

Grayson County Jailer Jason Woosley advised the Grayson County Fiscal Court on Tuesday that the bids for the construction of the detention center expansion and a pre-engineered metal building totaled almost $19.2 million, nearly $5 million over the original estimated cost of the project.

Woosley said that neither he nor Judge Executive Kevin Henderson want to put that financial burden on the county, so none of the bids have been accepted. One option, he said, is to downsize the project by 10,000 square feet, which removes a kitchen, a recreation yard, and a classroom but does not significantly reduce the number of additional beds the expansion would provide.

Doing so would reduce the cost of the project to around $14 million to $15 million, Woosley said, but would lead to an extra design phase and a second bidding phase.

The original estimated cost of the project was $12 million was based on bonding capability from the 2015 budget, which was the only audit completed at the time estimates were garnered. Woosley said that, early on, the architects at DLZ, the firm designing the expansion, said the project could not be completed for that amount and that $14 million to $15 million would be a more accurate estimate.

Despite this, Woosley said the bids still came in several million dollars over budget, which, according to the contractors, is due to the good condition of the economy.

Woosley said that the day the county opened bids and saw the prices, he and Henderson stood up and said they would not do the project, but they have since been working with the architects on options to cut costs.

The Fiscal Court took no action on Tuesday in regards to the future of the project, but both Woosley and Henderson are in favor of downsizing it.

The proposed expansion would be a self-serving facility despite being connected to the current detention center facility and is estimated to increase the jail’s total rated bed capacity by around 200.

In other business, the Fiscal Court:

*Approved an agreement and resolution to use $342,000 in discretionary road funds from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to re-pave Cook Road, Layman Road, and Old Hartford Road.

Henderson said the county's re-paving projects have not yet begun due to Scotty's Contracting and Stone's being so backed up with other projects; however, the company hopes to begin in the next week or two and intends to work until Christmas if weather permits.

*Voted to appoint 2nd District Magistrate Presto Gary and 5th District Magistrate Brad Brown to the county Building Committee; 1st District Magistrate Harold Johnson and 3rd District Magistrate Brenda Huffman to the county Road Committee; and 4th District Magistrate Jason Dennis and 6th District Magistrate Curtis Wells to the county Parks and Recreation Committee.

These committees will be required to report on their respective areas at each Fiscal Court meeting.

*Approved paying $700 in "box money" to the Grayson County Clerk's Office so that it may have cash on hand when new County Clerk Charlotte Willis takes over the position in January.

Current County Clerk Sherry Weedman said that, when a new clerk takes over, the office starts with zero monies, and, in the past, new clerks have paid this box money out of their own pockets to be reimbursed later; however, the Fiscal Court can loan this money to the clerk's office instead.