Sequim city manager now allowed to OK certain cost overruns for civic center project

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– City Manager Steve Burkett has been granted the authority to approve cost overruns on construction of a new $16 million City Hall without permission of the City Council.

The council voted unanimously Monday night to grant Burkett that authority, provided those changes don't exceed the total budget for the 34,000-square-foot building.

“The only way I could support this motion is if I wholly trusted the city manager,” Councilman Ted Miller said.

Saying he did, Miller then recommended the council approve the authority.

Cost changes previously required approval by the council.

Last month, the city approved a $51,130 increase to the project.

Lead contractor Lydig Construction, Bellevue, said changes to the floor plan, along with the rerouting of a sewer line, prompted the increase.

Lydig in April started building the new civic center under an $11.85 million contract with the city.

City Attorney Craig Ritchie said bringing all cost changes to the council could delay the project and end up increasing costs further.

Ritchie also noted that overruns must be reviewed by the city and Optimum Building Consultants, the Bellevue firm hired by the city to administer the City Hall project.

Arts panel

Also Monday, the City Council unanimously appointed seven members to the city's inaugural Arts Advisory Commission, created earlier this year.

Selected from the 13 applicants for the commission were Steven Humphrey, Linda Stadtmiller, Patsy Mattingley, Sharon Delabarre, Eileen Cummings, Joanna Hays and Bridget Baker.

The commission, created by the City Council earlier this year, will find opportunities for the city to develop art projects.

One of its first duties will be to select art to decorate the new civic center.

Mayor Candace Pratt, Councilman Erik Erichsen and Councilwoman Laura Dubois recommended the commissioners after interview sessions held last month with City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese and Barb Hanna, communications and marketing director.

A first meeting date for the commission has not been set.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 24. 2014 7:52PM
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