Source: NorthFulton.com

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Alpharetta adds $1 million to City Center budget
Cites rising costs, unforeseen problems

by Jonathan Copsey

August 07, 2013

ALPHARETTA, Ga. Alpharetta's City Council approved nearly $1 million in contingency funding for the construction of the City Center project, citing cost overruns and rising prices.

The vote was 5-2, with Council members D.C. Aiken and Jimmy Gilvin opposed.

The $995,000 would go into the contingency fund to help pay for further unanticipated cost overages.

"We're going to try not to spend that money," said Project Manager Mike Hall.

While council members acknowledged the need to keep the City Center project on schedule, they also admitted cuts should be made to offset the cost overages.

"It comes down to 'want-to-haves' and 'need-to-haves,'" said Aiken. "If we just raise the contingency by $1 million, we're going to spend it."

He advocated finding cuts elsewhere in either the city's budget or the City Center's.

Unexpected problems such as sub-par soils where the city hall was to sit called for more designs and changes to the plans, adding to expenses. Further, the addition of public bathrooms on the ground floor as well as the expansion of the ground floor footprint added to costs. The ground floor changes alone added nearly half a million dollars to the bill.

"It's irresponsible not to replenish this contingency fund," said Gilvin, "but I'm not convinced there's not $450,000 in savings in this $30 million project."

ALSO AT THE MEETING

24 roads to get resurfaced

Alpharetta's City Council voted unanimously to fund the resurfacing of 24 roads throughout the city.

The city maintains over 500 miles of roads. Each road is graded on its quality, with the poorest quality roads fixed first.

The city budgeted $1.5 million for the resurfacing of the roads, however Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz said the bids from vendors came in higher than expected, between $1.7 and $1.9 million.

City Council decided to approve the contract with Baldwin Paving Company for $1.5 million and take out roads on Newport Bay Drive unless more funding could be found.

The contract was unanimously approved.