COVID Issues Delay Temporary Jail Construction

The COVID-19 pandemic is being blamed for a delay in the construction of the temporary jail, which is at least five months behind schedule.

Greene County officials say the delays “were experienced by both the contractor and their subcontractors.”

“These are unfortunately consistent with 2020,” Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon told OI.

The county is currently waiting for half the remaining units for the jail from the vendor who is building them. The temporary jail will hold 390 inmates when finished, allowing the county to stop housing prisoners in other counties.

As of Monday, the jail was over capacity, with “slightly over 900 inmates.” County officials also noted they are now housing Springfield’s municipal inmates.

County officials are currently negotiating with the contractor on the temporary jail because it will not be utilized for the entire length of the original contract as construction of the new Greene County Jail is on target for 2022.

“We appreciate the care taken by sheriff Jim Arnott to guarantee the facility is secure and safe for employees and inmates,” Dixon told OI. “The benefits of this facility will be at least three fold. It will reduce risk of harm to our employees as the need to transport inmates around Missouri will be greatly reduced. It will save county taxpayers money as we will house inmates in Greene County in a consolidated temporary facility. It will also assist us in making the court system even more efficient as inmates will be closer to the courthouse.“

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