Illinois company submits low bid for Iowa prison

An Illinois contractor has submitted the low base bid for a new maximum-security prison in Fort Madison, causing worries about jobs for Iowans.

The Des Moines Register says Walsh Construction of Chicago offered a bid Wednesday of $116.9 million for the project, which is expected to employ 300 to 500 workers.

Scott Norvell of the industry group Master Buildings of Iowa is concerned that out-of-state workers could take many of the jobs if an out-of-state firm gets the contract.

Iowa Department of Administrative Services Director Ray Walton says the state has negotiated a labor agreement that contains specific provisions about how many workers can brought to a project by a construction company.

Walton says the state may award the contract next week.