After voting on the measure three times, the Albany County Legislature passed a law at its meeting on Monday, Sept. 14, that would have the county acquire a bond issue for the final $11 million needed to complete the courthouse facilities project that began several years ago.
The entire project includes the renovation and restoration of the Albany County Courthouse and the Judicial Center, according to Mary Duryea, spokeswoman for Albany County Executive Mike Breslin.
The county started the restorations to the Judicial Center in July of 2003, according to Duryea. It was completed in December 2005, with a total cost of $24 million.
At this point, the Judicial Center has been completed, Duryea said, with the courthouse being the final stage of construction.
The courthouse renovations began in April of 2005, and only the first phase of the project was completed by April 2009 (the project was expected to take several years to complete). The project is expected to be finished in March of 2011, at a total cost of $42 million.
Additional costs, such as architects, engineers, legal fees and project management will come in at about $15 million, bringing the total cost to about $81 million. The project was originally expected to cost about $70 million.
When the vote was initially taken during the legislature's meeting, some lawmaker felt the $11 million was excessive. That number includes roughly $500,000 in attorneys' fees for a lawsuit that resulted in the termination of a general contractor who was working on the project, as well as the money needed to complete the project.
According to Phil Steck, D, I-Colonie, some legislators were confused about the amount of money being set aside for attorney fees and said that because they thought the amount was higher than it actually was, leading to a second vote.