Earlier this year, the Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority increased the authorized spending on an Elmore County Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) facility from $623 million to $975 million, a 57% increase from the initial project estimate.

Last month, ADOC Commissioner John Hamm warned the price could go even higher.

During an appearance on Friday's broadcast of Alabama Public Television's "Capitol Journal," Hamm addressed those cost increases.

Hamm said the high rate of inflation, paired with increased demand in the construction market resulting from an influx of government money, was to blame for those increases.

"I was at another state agency when a lot of this was transpiring," he said. "You know, the six-and-something-million dollar initial cost, I think, was based on 2019 pricing with about a 4% inflation factor. So we come in, and there are several things that happen. You know, unfortunately, inflation has certainly risen. But it is not all inflation."

"A lot of it we are finding is the construction market because with all the government money and everybody building, it has created difficulty in getting bid, contractors wanting to bid on certain projects and stuff,” Hamm continued. “And this is an enormous project. It's probably one of the largest in the state. So, when you sign up, you're signing up for about three years. So, the construction market has dictated a lot of the cost as well."

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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