Press-Republican

Local News

January 17, 2013

Municipal building costs shoot through roof

DANNEMORA — Architects say it will cost at least $500,000 to finish the town’s new Municipal Building.

The project has already exceeded the original estimated $2 million price tag.

The new numbers were released Tuesday night to the dismay of taxpayers and town officials.

“We don’t have enough in our current budget,” Town Budget Officer Kristine Bowman said during a two-hour meeting about the project’s status.

AES Northeast architect David Whitford said final work on the combined-services portion of the building could cost roughly $559,144, a big hike over preliminary estimates.

“It could come in less, it could come in more,” depending on future bids, he said as he presented the firm’s final plan specifications at the special Town Council session.

NOT IN BUDGET

In November, preliminary numbers suggested the remaining cost for the facility on Route 374 in Chazy Lake would come in at around $300,000, but the completed report revealed a higher price tag for general construction, and mechanical, plumbing and electrical work.

Whitford also noted that the final numbers do not take into account additional possible “soft costs,” such as a communications system.

Bowman projected the final price, including those costs, could soar to “$650,000 or more.”  

She said $230,000 was allocated in this year’s budget for the remaining work and that only a budget reconfiguration could move any additional money into the project this year.

Town Supervisor Americo “Ves” Pivetta said there’s a remaining $200,000 on hand from previous allocations, but Bowman said that money cannot be fully taken into account, as a portion of it is reserved for previous unpaid work.

BLINDSIDED

As of Tuesday, the building had cost $2,181,571.

The project has been under way since 2008, when the town purchased the steel framework of the structure, anticipating completion over five years.

The plan was blindsided by a New Year’s Day fire in 2010 that destroyed the town’s highway garage and left officials scrambling to expedite the building’s development.

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