Correctional facilities need $11 million in delayed maintenance, report says
Department of Corrections buildings need about $11 million in deferred maintenance but overall the facilities are in good shape, a state official told lawmakers Wednesday.
The House Corrections and Institutions Committee saw a summary of the first comprehensive DOC facilities analysis, presented by Dave Burley of the Department of Buildings and General Services.
"I think it turned out better than expected," he said.
The committee said the information will lay the groundwork for the next two years of budget planning. However, lawmakers are still missing a key piece of information about the status of DOC facilities.
The committee is waiting to hear from the corrections commissioner about the cost of programs offered in prisons.
"I don't care that the building is excellent if we don't have a room for (programs)," said Rep. Joan Lenes, D-Shelburne, the committee's ranking member.
Overall, the analysis found Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility and Northwest State Correctional Facility in "fair" condition. Both were originally built as juvenile jails but never used as such.
"The other facilities are actually in excellent condition," Burley said.
The study identified $1.3 million needed to replace security doors at the Chittenden prison, one of the state's busiest corrections facilities. BGS said it has known about the problem for years and is working to replace the doors, which are not reliable.
Burley said that BGS is playing catch-up from years when projects were ignored. The $11 million figure only includes high-priority fixes. The total cost of delayed maintenance, including less urgent projects, is about $20 million, he said.
The so-called "priority one" projects require immediate attention to correct a cited safety or code hazard, stop accelerated deterioration or return equipment to operation, according to EMG.
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