JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Action News has learned the price tag for the new $350 million courthouse is getting bigger.
Some of the doors in the courthouse are about to change. Mayor Alvin Brown says the city will spend more taxpayer money to make them compliant for disabled people.
The price tag is roughly an extra half-million dollars. It's money some city council members say could be used to finish the rest of the courthouse project. "We still have a state attorney's office to build out," said City Council President Bill Bishop.
Action News crunched the numbers and found $2.1 million unused in these two projects. The money for the doors will come from the contingency budget for the new courthouse. There is little wiggle room for problems that may come up while renovating the old federal courthouse.
It's a big concern for council members, considering the new courthouse had an original budget of only $190 million. "An old building, if we run into problems we have to dig into those funds," said Bishop. "The margin of error is tighter than than normal. It's a concern," said Councilman John Crescimbeni.
While city leaders say they will go after Turner Construction to pay them back, some aren't optimistic about getting the money back.
"The goal is to protect taxpayer dollars and do it right," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "I think we're caught between a rock and a hard place," said Crescimbeni. "I don't know what the odds are of getting them to pay for something extra like that," said Bishop.
We did reach out to the state attorney's office about this. In a statement, Angela Corey said, "We are committed to getting the Old Federal Courthouse project completed. We are devoting an extensive amount of time into this project, and we expect the city will comply with their constitutional obligation."
As for Turner Construction, it maintains the doors in the courthouse meet the codes required for disabled people. We're told the work to fix the doors in the new courthouse will go out for bid, and should be completed within the next four months.