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Your County Needs a New Jail. Will Voters Approve?

May 15, 2014 All, Criminal Justice, Financing, Planning Comments Off on Your County Needs a New Jail. Will Voters Approve?

We have discussed innovative financing options which sometimes allow a jurisdiction to proceed with a new jail without a tax increase. This is possible only when the county has a significant budget for boarding prisoners or cash reserves put away to fund capital expenditures. For some counties, these numbers don’t “pencil out” and voters in the county  will need to approve additional taxes to provide the revenue to proceed.  Now what?

Goldberg Group Architects has votesuccessfully helped many counties through this process. First, a Feasibility Study is completed to determine what the needs of the county are and how to best  meet those needs. Our team of experienced professionals has the criminal justice background to evaluate current and future custody needs along with operational and staffing budgets. GGA will evaluate the most cost effective options for new construction, renovation/expansion and sites.  This information is the foundation of a preliminary design and to establishing a construction budget.  With our specialty experience we go a step further and help your county determine total  project costs which also includes  fees, interest, furniture, fixtures and equipment.  GGA has an exceptional record of planning well for total project costs and then hitting its budgets. We work closely with county officials, bond attorneys and investment bankers to structure the bond financing a properly.

Community support for the project IS critical. Goldberg Group Architects and county officials work as a team to communicate with voters through public hearings, printed or video information and interviews with local media. It is important to communicate what the deficiencies are with the existing facility and how a new or renovated facility provides the solution.  We will be able to demonstrate prudent and well planned use of tax dollars.

Build Your Jail Without New Taxes–Innovative Jail Financing

May 15, 2014 All, Financing, Planning Comments Off on Build Your Jail Without New Taxes–Innovative Jail Financing

In these difficult economic times, voters often reject Bond Issues or Sales Tax Referendums at the ballot box.  Elected officials are left wondering how to proceed with critical infrastructure projects, such as a new jail.  The solution comes in hiring an experienced criminal justice architect who can help you with innovative jail financing.  Lawrence Goldberg, AIA, senior partner of Goldberg Group Architects (GGA), has included successful financial planning in his nationwide criminal junnamedustice practice for over 25 years.  Specialized experience is needed to help a County balance financial resources with realistic project costs.

If a Public Banker is going to issue Bonds for a jail project, and a County is going to successfully pay off these bonds, then financial analysis and architectural design must come together on a level of performance rarely seen in public architecture.  GGA has the unique expertise to perform at this high level.  Goldberg has  developed a list of critical benchmarks which must come together for a successful outcome: overall project costs, staffing and operational costs, and sources of revenues.  Cost control is critical.  The County must realistically assess operational costs and the architect must design a cost effective facility that hits its budget and does not have cost overruns during construction.  Goldberg Group Architects has a proven track record of performance that can help a County evaluate if a new jail could become a reality without new taxes.

A Small Step Back Can Lead to a Big Step Forward

May 15, 2014 All, Criminal Justice, Planning Comments Off on A Small Step Back Can Lead to a Big Step Forward

Planning public projects in today’s increasingly complex regulatory, political & economic environment can be difficult for elected officials.  Building a new jail is no exception.   The process of building a new jail often starts when a County hires a consultant or an architect to complete a study to analyze the needs and plan for the new jail.  Tofficialshis sets in motion a sequence of events with consequences that determine the project’s performance, staffing and cost. Once the study is complete, it is time for County officials to take a step back.

The County should evaluate if the proposed project meets its objectives at an affordable cost.  In the end, a thorough search for alternatives can save tax dollars.    Muskegon County, Michigan commissioned several different Jail Studies in its search for the best solution for their citizens.  After talking to Lawrence Goldberg, they realized there was an affordable option that had not yet been considered.  Goldberg Group Architects developed an efficient, secure design along with $10 million in cost savings.  This new approach allowed the County to take big steps forward and begin construction on its new jail.

Need more information? Contact Terry Blanchard with Goldberg Group Architects at 1-616-566-6061 or email terry.b@gga-pc.com.