Renovation of the historic York County Courthouse got a boost Tuesday when the York County Council voted to more than double the amount budgeted for finishing work on the local landmark.
On top of the $4.169 million listed for courthouse work in the 2014-15 county budget, the council added another $4.9 million taken from other funds. That brings the total amount budgeted for the courthouse to $9.1 million, or enough to meet consultants’ estimated price tag for completing the long-delayed project.
The move came as part of a larger move to redistribute capital facilities funds within the budget, including an extra $675,000 to complete roof work on the Moss Justice Center in York.
“The bids for Moss came in over the amount that was budgeted for it, and since the courthouse is something we’ve been talking about for a while, they decided to do it in one amendment,” said York County Treasurer Beth Latham.
The majority of the new funds will come from an abandoned plan for work on a county recycling center. The entire $4.659 million budgeted for that project, which has also faced delays, will now be used to complete work on the courthouse. Finishing work on the recycling center will hopefully be included as part of the county’s upcoming facilities plan, said County Manager Bill Shanahan.
The rest of the new money will come out of leftover funds from the 1997 “Pennies for Progress” road-paving program.
“That money was loaned to Pennies for Progress from the county general fund, and since it was left in there, it’s now being returned,” said Latham.
The Moss Justice Center also will benefit from the amendment, as the budgeted amount for roofing at the center will grow to $2.97 million, moved over from the general fund.
In November, consulting group Cumming Construction Management reviewed the state of the courthouse project and estimated that completing the renovations would cost $9.1 million, down from an earlier $11 million estimate, making finishing the work a cheaper option than building a new courthouse elsewhere.
Tax district panel
Rock Hill’s desired extension of the Knowledge Park tax district will face renewed scrutiny by a panel of York County Council members.
The council named a three-person, ad hoc committee to examine Rock Hill’s request to extend the tax district, which requires the county to give up a portion of property tax revenue, for an additional 10 years. Christi Cox will chair the committee, which will include William “Bump” Roddey and Robert Winkler.
Cox requested the committee be given six weeks to examine the proposal before the county takes any action.
“I want to make sure we have all our questions answered and we understand what the financial impact will be on the county,” Cox said.
The committee will report back to the full council at its March 2 meeting.
Roddey reiterated his call for the county’s approval to be tied to Rock Hill addressing stormwater issues that flood neighborhood streets.
“We need to address these other problems,” he said, “or I will hold this vote hostage.”