The Pullman City Hall relocation will exceed its original estimated cost by more than $1 million, according to Pullman city documents.

As the city prepares to relocate city hall to the former Encounter Ministries property at 190 SE Crestview Drive, early bids from contractors have come in as high as 19 percent more than the city’s nearly $6 million estimate, according to a memo sent to the Pullman City Council by Pullman Public Works Director Kevin Gardes and Finance Director Mike Urban.

The low bid, which was submitted by Quality Contractors, came in at more than $7 million. The city hall relocation is being funded by a $10.5 million voter-approved bond.

According to city documents, Design West Architects in Pullman blamed the higher costs on the relocation beginning a year later than expected, a significant increase in the cost of materials and labor, and because the scope of the project grew since the original cost estimate was made.

The relocation was delayed because the bond had to go to election a second time in 2018. The additions to the scope of the project includes a second elevator, solar panels and an increase in the number of private offices.

The city council tonight will decide whether to accept the bid from Quality Contractors.

The city council also will hear from the public tonight about a potential temporary moratorium on new construction in downtown Pullman.

The discussion stems from the city’s decision to hire BDS, a consultant that will craft a downtown master plan intended to help the city improve the accessibility, aesthetic and utilization of the downtown business district. BDS was hired at a cost of $122,800.

Councilor Al Sorensen has encouraged the city to consider halting new construction until the master plan is completed. Sorensen is concerned new construction will not be aligned with Pullman’s overall vision for downtown.

A public meeting on the moratorium will take place at tonight’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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