Sarpy Jail Prompts $41.5 Million in Bonds; Won’t Grow Levy


A rendering of the main entrance to the new Sarpy County Correctional Center. (DLR Group via Sarpy County)
By 
The Daily Record

Sarpy County will issue $41.5 million in bonds to pay for the new Sarpy County Correctional Center and other county building projects, but officials don’t plan to raise property taxes to pay off the bonds.

“Thanks to years of fiscally conservative budgeting, we’re well positioned to issue these bonds without raising the tax levy,” Sarpy County Board Vice Chair David Klug said in a news release following the board’s vote to approve the bonds. “With low interest rates, bonds will allow us to complete this much needed project, ensuring we meet the public safety needs of the county now and into the future.”

Sarpy County’s Fiscal & Budget Office estimates the annual debt service payment on the bonds will be $2.9 million, which will be paid from county’s existing levy.

In April, the County Board approved an agreement with JE Dunn to lock in the construction costs for the correctional center at $69.4 million. The county expects an additional $10.5 million in expenses for architectural engineering, permits, utility extension fees, and furniture and fixtures for the facility, bringing the total cost of the project to $79.9 million.

After the bonds, the remaining correctional center costs will be paid for with funds that the county has set aside for the project since 2019 as well as American Rescue Plan Act and general fund cash.

Construction on the 150,000-square-foot center began in April on the Sarpy County Courthouse campus at 84th Street and Highway 370. The facility is designed to house 362 inmates.

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