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Government

Iowa to Pay Millions to Prison Contractor

The state of Iowa has reached a settlement with a contractor in regards to the still vacant Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison
The state of Iowa has reached a settlement with a contractor in regards to the still vacant Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison

Iowa's executive branch will pay another $7 million to the company that oversaw construction of the state's problem-riddled maximum-security prison in Lee County.

The State Appeals Board voted Monday to approve the settlement with Walsh Construction to avoid litigation over the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison .

The 800-bed prison remains empty more than a year after it was scheduled to open.

Workers have been trying to bring housing units into compliance with the state fire code after discovering faulty smoke evacuation systems last year.Walsh was the general contractor for the project, and won a contract that eventually increased to $123 million. 

The new Iowa State Penitentiary remains empty over ongoing construction issues.
Credit Jason Parrott / TSPR
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The new Iowa State Penitentiary remains empty over ongoing construction issues.

In December 2013, the company asked the state for an additional $18.1 million, claiming that it encountered delays for which it wasn't responsible and had to perform additional work. 

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