Linn County Correctional Center opens doors to media - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Linn County Correctional Center opens doors to media

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)- The Linn County Jail was one of many buildings forced out of its home because of June's flood.

Construction crews continue to work to bring the facility to an operational level.  And the time table may be closer than it appears.

The building has been empty since June's floods. But Sherrif Brian Gardner estimates the one million dollars worth of damage to the flooded first floor will be repaired by the end of the month as phase one of a two step process.

"Phase one allows us to restore all those vital operational components. , all the things we need for our building to run," said Sheriff Brian Gardner.

This means inmates and staff are targeted to move back into the jail my mid-April.

One of the major benefits of opening this facility in a timely manner is the income it generates for Linn County.

In the nine months the building has been closed, Sherriff Gardiner says Linn County has missed out on some $3 million that would have been generated from holding federal inmates.  When filled to capacity, the jail houses over 400 prisoners, around half which were of the Federal variety.

"We have no federal prisoners in our care at all," said Gardner.  "Our building was certified to house federal inmates but none of the institutions we shipped our people too were certified.

It may look like there's still a lot of work to do, but the jail is on its way to becoming the second government building affected by the flood to be back up and running.

The second phase of this project focuses on mitigation and bringing vital building parts out of harms way in case of a future disaster.  It is expected to be completed by next fall.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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