Who Will Pay for Prison Repairs?

By: Sarah Stokes
By: Sarah Stokes

There's a big repair bill on the way to fix the Stanley prison. According to the Department of Corrections, it will be a $12 million dollar bill to bring it up to code. So what's wrong with the facility? The D.O.C. says a number of things, and its pointing the finger at the builder.
It created hundreds of jobs when it appeared on the stanley landscape. But now the Department of Corrections is questioning the job the contractor did. D.O.C. spokesman John Dipko says, "over the past several years we identified things that need repair." He says the list of repairs kept growing, so last year the state inspected the 750 cell facility built by an Oklahoma company called Dominion Venture Group, LLC. Dipko says "that review showed it would cost more than $4.6 million to remedy defects."

This week the State Building Commission OK'd $5 million for repairs but that's not the end of it. "The estimate of dollars to bring stanley up to code is an additional $7.7 million dollars. We do question the ability to recoup those dollars because it was known it wasn't up to state facility standards," Dipko says.

Here's the history of the building: Construction starts in 1998. In 2001 after some controversy the state purchased the prison for nearly $80 million. Dipko says state leaders were informed it wasn't built to the highest state facility standards, but it opened in 2002, reached capacity in 2003, was reviewed and re-inspected in 2005 and this year
The Department of Corrections is enlisting the help of the Department of Justice. It wants to see if at least $5 million dollars worth of fixing can fall on the builder's shoulders. Dipko says, "we've contacted various parties and demanded they contribute but it appears it will take legal action. We've tried to resolve it but have been unsuccessful so far."

Despite that deadlock, some work on the Stanley Correctional Institute has started. The D.O.C. started work on the kitchen floor, an exterior wall and the concrete outside the building.
Dipko adds, "we'll continue to operate safe and secure facilities icluding Stanley. That's part of our mission."

Inmates are helping with some of the repair labor. Licensed contractors will do the code work. There's no word yet if the Department of Justice will take legal action, and we could not reach the construction company before air time.


WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 2831836 - weau.com/a?a=2831836