Police complex cost keeps going up, up; reaches $18 million

LIHU’E — The closer the county gets to building a new facility to house

police, civil defense and prosecuting attorney headquarters, the bigger and

more expensive the complex gets.

County Building Administrator Don Haige

told County Council Public Safety committee members last week that the

projected cost of the complex has reached $18 million—$6 million more than

what was estimated when the project was first discussed in 1998.

The

Kusaka Administration has budgeted $15 million for the complex in the FY

2000-01 Budget that was submitted to the Council on March 15.

County

Council Chair Ron Kouchi wasn’t happy with the rising cost of the project.

“So you have never followed through on the Council’s request to modify the

project to come within budget,” Kouchi said to Haigh.

“We took (the

request) into consideration,” Haigh said. “But we’re not able to do that and to

maintain the quality and the requirements of the police and the EOC (emergency

operating center), Haige responded.

The complex has been expanded by 14,000

square feet since it was originally proposed.

It is now projected to cover

some 58,000 square feet.

“We under took this whole thing because we were

told it would cost $12 million,” Kouchi said after the meeting.

“My only

disagreement all along is that when we first funded the money it was for a

design/build, which would have said we want all of this, now you submit us a

plan. They went out and hired bridging consultants and did all these other

plans.

“It’s been years and years and the cost has been going and going up.

We continue to give input that has not been heard and decisions just get made

and they come back and say this is what we are going to do,” he

said.

“Right now they (the police) are living very uncomfortably and very

miserably next door. Something needs to be done. But how can we work within our

budget of what can we afford as a county? How can we keep this project at a

reasonable number. That is my concern,” said Kouchi.

Haigh said he expects

the final proposal bids for the project to be completed by June with a contract

award this summer.

The work on the 8-acre Kapule Highway site will begin

shortly after with the employee access road construction.

The project is

slated for completion in the mid-2001.

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