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Costs expanding for renovations of Sheriff's Dept.

March 06, 2001

Costs expanding for renovations of Sheriff's Dept.



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Additions and renovations to the Washington County Sheriff's Department patrol facility, the total cost of which had been estimated at $900,000, may cost about $1.9 million, according to county documents.

The proposal would add 6,899 square feet to the 6,250-square-foot facility.

The commissioners were told in July that the project estimate had increased to $1.5 million from about $900,000. The increase was due in part to a revised plan that included more renovations than originally planned.

The budget estimate changes were also the result of architectural plans drawn up by Burrey Moser Gehr Architects of Hagerstown, which did the work as part of an $82,452 contract with the county, county officials said.

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Of the $1.5 million figure, $1.3 million is budgeted for construction. That amount is included in the proposed capital improvement program for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

At Tuesday's Washington County Commissioners meeting, Sheriff Charles Mades asked for an additional $400,000 for the project.

Mades wanted the amount budgeted for construction to be increased from $1.3 million to $1.7 million.

A decent addition and renovation can't be done for $1.3 million, Mades said.

In the past, the project had included about $200,000 in additional costs. If those amounts remain the same, the total project cost could rise to $1.9 million.

The commissioners took no action on Mades' request.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook asked how the county could fund the project.

"My question to staff is: What are we cutting if we go ahead with this?" Snook asked.

Further design work on the project has been placed on hold until the funding question can be resolved.

Snook said a decision is possible next week.

Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger said he is unhappy about the increased cost, but noted most project estimates are rising and said he considers this a necessary expansion.

Mike Gehr of the architectural firm told the commissioners that unexpected costs cropped up during design and planning work. It was also decided that a more powerful generator was needed, others involved in the project said.

In order to cut costs to meet the $1.3 million construction funding level, the square footage of the expansion may need to be cut, Gehr said.

As part of the proposed expansion, the 1,640-square-foot Washington County Sheriff's Department administrative offices would be moved to the patrol facility from its present location at the Washington County Detention Center. That would free space at the detention center for records storage.

The changes are needed to help alleviate overcrowding caused by increases in staff and equipment and to meet the Sheriff's Department's projected needs for the next five to 10 years, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer has said.

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