MONROE, Ga. — An Atlanta company will oversee the construction of the new Walton County Public Safety Complex.

The Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to hire Comprehensive Program Services, which will have someone on site daily for planning and construction of the $129 million project.

CPS has worked on construction of “big jail” projects in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton and Paulding counties. In its proposal letter to Chairman David Thompson, the firm estimates it could have the new Walton County jail occupied by Dec. 23, 2023 — a 26-month construction process that it said would shave 4-6 months off normal work if the county supervised the project in house.

Thompson also nominated retired Superior Court Judge Eugene M. “Gene” Benton and George Walton Academy head of school Gary Hobbs to serve on the Walton Industrial Building Authority.

A 1962 state law created the authority to borrow money and issue bonds. Members of the authority by statute include the chairman of the Board of Commissioners (Thompson), mayor of Monroe (John Howard) and president of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce (a title now given to the chairman, Ned Butler). But the board has not been active in at least a few years.

Thompson said the authority is needed to sign off on the $100 million on bonds needed for the jail.

“They’re underwriting it now,” he said. “I’m trying to rush it because you saw what happened this past week, bond rates inched up.”

The board voted 5-0 to hire CPS with Commissioners Kirklyn Dixon and Lee Bradford abstaining. Both Dixon and Bradford voted against the motion last month to build a new jail on a Baker Street property near the Walton County Government Building.

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