BLACKFOOT — Plans for the new jail kitchen addition at the Bingham County Courthouse are moving forward.
An architect team from Utah-based JWL+BDG Architects and construction management company MBA Construction in Blackfoot met Tuesday to discuss the specifics of the plan and to work down the cost of the project to $450,000.
The Bingham County Commissioners have verbally agreed to fund the project to that amount using Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds. The Bingham County Sheriff’s Office also anticipates receiving a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to fund a portion of the cost for security cameras and secured doors.
Plans for the kitchen indicate the addition will be built to the north of the courthouse and will be connected by a hallway. Architect Joe Linton said the space will be 2,000 square feet and will be fully equipped. The space will also include an area for a secure laundry facility. The possibility of a second-floor addition to relocate the county’s dispatch center has been discussed, but will cost an additional $192,000.
The county will begin removing the trees north of the courthouse soon, and Linton hopes to break ground this month. The project is expected to take nine months to complete.
Sheriff Dave Johnson said he has requested the addition to create a more secure working area and to provide more space. The existing kitchen is just over 300 square feet. The kitchen produces meals for 100 inmates three times every day.
Johnson would also like to see a second floor added to relocate the dispatch center. Dispatch is currently located in the basement of the courthouse.
The commissioners anticipate a decision on whether to build a second floor to be made soon, but are hesitant to be responsible for an additional $192,000 for the project while other departments are working to reduce budgets.