State reduces justice-center budget by $189,000
by Eric Snyder --
Apr 19, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The County Project Development Board’s unanimous vote last week to select the current courthouse as the site of the new justice center likely comes as a surprise to no one — and based on public sentiment at February’s public hearing on the matter, it also comes as welcome news to a majority of residents.

CMW, Inc. architect Dennis Arthur, however, also revealed some unwelcome news last week — that the state had reduced the project’s budget by more than $189,000.

“That’s interesting,” said board member C.A. Woodall of the 1.8 percent decrease, which puts the current budget at $10,224,000.

Board member and County-Judge Executive Berlin Moore wondered if that money would come out of the $430,000 that had been dog-eared for land-acquisition.

If it did, he said, “We may be in trouble.”

Vance Mitchell, the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts Project Manager, was running late last week, leaving Moore and the rest of the board to fret momentarily — it was mentioned that purchasing the courthouse alone from the county was going to cost $250,000.

However, when Mitchell did arrive, he was able to assuage the board’s fears — somewhat.

He explained that the $430,000 figure was “a benchmark,” not a legally required target, and that they were still free to spend more or less than that.

That was the good news. The bad news?

“[The decrease] is going to reduce our scope of everything,” Mitchell said.

Said Moore, “We’re just going to have to scale back on sticks-n’-bricks.”

The reduced budget was revealed in a Project Status Report given at a meeting between Arthur and the AOC’s Facilities Standards Committee on March 13. The report, issued before the board’s vote on a site for the center, gives a “percentage complete” figure for the project of zero percent.

Mitchell said he wasn’t sure why there was a decrease for the project. He joked that he was liked much better in Taylor County, where its new courthouse project received a $300,000 increase in funding.

“I understand give-and-take,” Moore said. “They took from us and gave to them.”

For the rest of this article, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.
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