Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A House for Law & Order in Hudson

On Tuesday night, in between the special meeting at which the mayor presented the proposed 2016 budget and the informal Common Council meeting, there was another special meeting the subject of which was the police and court building. 

With the value engineering now completed, the "soft costs" analyzed and estimated, and the Hudson Police Department and the NYS Office of Court Administration giving their blessing to the modified design, the project is ready to go out for bid for a second time. The "all-in" cost of the project, which includes the purchase price and what has already been spent, has now been capped at $4.3 million.

At the special meeting on Monday, the Council voted unanimously to have Rapp Construction Management seek bids for four prime contracts: construction contractor, electrical contractor, HVAC contractor, and plumbing contractor. The bids are due on January 4, 2016, and will be opened at 10 a.m. the next day in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  

The future of the project is still not clear. When the bids come back at the beginning of the new year, there may be a new mayor, and there will certainly be a different Common Council president and three new aldermen. Nick Haddad, who was the point man for the project, and Bart Delaney, who served on the project subcommittee, will no longer be on the Council. William Kappel, the alderman candidate who made it clear in his campaign that he opposed the plans for the new police and court building just down the street from his house, was not elected. The opinions of the other new members of the Council about the project are not known (in fact, until the absentee ballots are counted, it's not absolutely clear who some of the new members will be), but it's possible that Lauren Scalera may join the chorus of one (Doc Donahue) in regularly asserting (with no clear basis in fact) that the City could build a beautiful new police and court building--a veritable palace of law and order--at the corner of Fourth and Columbia streets for less than what the adaptive reuse of 701 Union Street is costing.

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