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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Alachua county jail to become more energy efficient

The slammer’s going green.

Alachua County commissioners allotted $150,000 of the county’s reserve fund Tuesday to finance the county jail’s effort to be more energy efficient. This amount is part of more than $8 million covering the administrative costs of several of the jail’s already-approved modification projects.

“These renovations are long overdue,” jail spokesman Eugene Morris said. “I am very happy the commission decided the time was right to start working on these projects.”

Renovation projects will include raising a new foam roof, installing solar panels, replacing faulty windows and carrying out general kitchen and laundry room renovations. The budget will also cover the salaries of employees of the facilities division to help with the project, lifting the burden of having to work with outside contractors.

According to Morris, renovations will probably begin “later this year or the beginning of next year.”

County leaders believe the project will, in the long run, save the county more money. Alachua County Facilities Manager Charlie Jackson said making the jail more environmentally friendly will save the jail $500,000 to $600,000 a year in utility costs.

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