AP NEWS

Mohave County Courthouse may cost $300K more

October 3, 2018

Justice often comes at a price, and very seldom has that been more true than in the case of Mohave County’s new Superior Courthouse in Kingman.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved the transfer of more than $300,000 to continue the courthouse’s construction, with the completion of the building’s architecture and engineering plans. The courthouse’s final cost is an estimated $21 million, paid for by a quarter-cent sales tax that will expire next year.

Bids for the construction are expected to be received by the end of the year, and construction is slated to begin in January.

Monday’s transfer of $308,221 toward the courthouse’s construction was a measure to ensure funding for the project, due to rising costs of materials. Mohave County Supervisor has long been exposed to the courthouse’s expense as the county continues to suffer budget shortfalls.

“I’m not opposed to the courthouse,” Johnson said. “It’s that we don’t have the money to build what we need. I’m afraid we’ll be overbudget, without enough money to complete it. And with Trump’s tariffs, costs have only gone up.”

According to Johnson, the push for bidding on the project may be premature.

“If we push for a bid, and they come back with something higher than we can afford … it costs these constractors tens of thousands of dollars to come up with a bid for projects like this. If we can’t afford it, they’ll be less likely to bid again when we have the money.”

The 66,461 square-foot courthouse will be built next door to Kingman’s existing Mohave County Superior Court.

According to County Manager Mike Hendrix, however, rising costs are a matter of course in construction projects, but all stated costs are still only estimates.

“The proof in the pudding will be when the bids actually come in,” Hendrix said. “Our architects looked at the market cost for equipment, labor and materials and gave their best estimate. Our construction economy has improved and supply and demand for materials could lead to cost increases. For example, if I appraised my house four years ago, it would be less than it is today. It’s just the nature of the beast.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly