County’s Office Building Project Nearly $1 Million Over Budget
Published: March 3rd, 2008
By: Melissa deCordova

County’s office building project nearly $1 million over budget

NORWICH – At first glance, Chenango County Finance Committee Chairman Lawrence Wilcox, R-Oxford, said the estimate presented Thursday for the West Park Place Office project was “not quite what we had anticipated seeing.”

The Board of Supervisors stamped their approval for the former county jail and sheriff’s office renovation project in November last year at an estimated cost of $2.7 million. The amount the consulting architects presented to lawmakers for the first time last week showed a bottom line of $3.5 million.

Town supervisors on the Agriculture, Buildings & Grounds Committee were unaware of the higher estimate two weeks ago when they approved the blueprints and timeline. Wilcox, who sits on both committees, said the amount wasn’t known until hours before Finance met.

With strong encouragement from Board Chairman Richard B. Decker to complete the project this year, the architects planned to put it out to bid on March 12, begin exterior refurbishing work May 7 and finish the entire job by Dec. 25.

The Finance Committee chose to table any decision to proceed.

“There’s nothing worse than a municipality going out to bid and not being able to fund the project,” Wilcox said.

“We aren’t doing the taxpayers any favors by pushing this thing along,” said committee member Wayne C. Outwater, R-Lincklaen.

On Friday, Decker said he thought the action would delay the entire project “only just for a moment.”

“Finance needs to look at what their choices are. The problem is, we didn’t know the estimate. It was a surprise, but I have to believe what they tell me about, that everything is escalating in prices,” he said.

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