Major progress is being made on Madison County's $7 million courthouse renovation project, but some are concerned about its growing cost.
At its last meeting, the Madison County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $230,000 for unexpected construction expenses.
Some have expressed concern about the extra money being spent in this tough economy, but those close to the project say it wasn't extra at all.
“When you have a project of this size and with that large a budget, you just cannot anticipate each and every item at a level that allows it to be bid to the penny. The trick is keeping those changes to a minimum,” said county administrator Lisa Robertson.
Window and door restoration made up the biggest chunk of the county’s change orders, totaling $109,000. A third round of asbestos removal also cost the county more than $10,000.
County officials, however, say they prepared for the added costs by building a $700,000 contingency plan into the project's budget. “Ten percent wasn't an unheard of percentage on this large a project to anticipate changes that may need to be made,” Robertson said.
“The project is still well within the budget that we have set aside in our capitol fund.”
Officials say the project is on schedule and should be completed in January 2010. Eric Amtmann, the project manager, says the stage in which major unexpected expenses could arise is over.