JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There is one phase left of the $350 million Duval County Courthouse project -- renovating the Old Federal Courthouse next door.
Four companies are competing for the chance to turn the building into the new State Attorney's Office. The bids are in, and all of them are more than the allotted $26 million.
"Mayor Alvin Brown has made it clear that no more money will be added to the courthouse project," said David DeCamp with the city.
So now what? The city has a few options. They can revise the project and cut some things out. Or, send it back out for a rebid. That's happened before. In 2011, Elkins Constructors got the contract for $27.4 million. Work started but then the city decided it wanted the job done cheaper, so Elkins' contract was pulled.
Since then, the project's been tweaked, and now the lowest bid is $30.9 million -- almost $4 million higher. And it isn't Elkins.
Action News asked Elkins Constructors President Matt Welch if he thought the city was foolish for pulling the original contract.
"I'm not going to say foolish, they made a decision on their own they decided they could save some money. We didn't believe they could but that was their choice and that's one they made and as it turns out, it looks like they've got some work to do still," he said.
We also took that question to the city.
"No I think any time you see a chance to save money, we still have a chance to save money, you want to take advantage of that opportunity," said DeCamp.
As far as the State Attorney's Office is concerned, this is just another potential delay. And the office is getting tired of waiting. Its current cross-town commute adds about an hour onto the day.
"We have our prosecutors that have to load up all of their files here at the building, they have to take them over to their car, they drive over to the new courthouse they have to unload all of those files they have to make it through security with those files so the frustration is just the day to day inefficiencies that effect our office," said Assistant State Attorney Rich Komando.
The city is now working to figure out which is the qualifying bid. It will know next week. It will then negotiate what can be cut out. And if a rebid is needed, that would happen by February.
Elkins Constructors was the only local company to bid. Its was third highest, so the company says it likely won't be chosen.