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Budget increased for sheriff's patrol office

March 14, 2001

Budget increased for sheriff's patrol office



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday increased the amount budgeted for construction work to expand and renovate the Washington County Sheriff's Department patrol office by $300,000.

That brings the total estimated construction cost to $1.6 million. Design work and related costs bring the total cost of the project to $1.8 million.

The initial estimated cost of the project to add 6,899 square feet to the 6,250-square-foot facility was $900,000.

Construction bids will be opened in August, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

The changes are needed to meet increased need and demands, Sheriff Charles Mades told the commissioners.

Mades said if the bids are too high he would understand if the commissioners decided not to pay for the construction work.

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The vote to increase the funding for construction was 4-1 with Commissioner William J. Wivell opposed.

Commissioner John L. Schnebly reluctantly voted for the project.

"My logic says to vote yes but my heart says to vote no," he said. He said this was one of the more disappointing projects he has seen as a commissioner because of the estimate increases.

A change that raised the estimate was a decision to gut rather than renovate the building's interior, Rohrer said. It was also decided to add a $120,000 generator, he said.

"We are not building a shell building. We're building a patrol facility with special needs," Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger said.

Mike Gehr, of Burrey Moser Gehr Architects of Hagerstown, told the commissioners earlier that unexpected costs cropped up as design and planning work were being done.

At that meeting, Mades asked that the amount budgeted for construction be increased to $1.7 million. After meeting with Gehr, Rohrer reduced the construction cost request from $1.7 million to $1.6 million.

As part of the proposed expansion the 1,640-square-foot Washington County Sheriff's Department administrative offices would be moved from the Washington County Detention Center to the patrol facility, freeing up space at the Detention Center for records storage.

The changes are needed to help alleviate overcrowding caused by increases in staff and equipment, Mades said. They are intended to meet the Sheriff's Department's projected needs for the next five to 10 years, he said.

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