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Price tag for Ithaca Commons project exceeding initial estimates

Price tag for Ithaca Commons project exceeding initial estimates

Crews began demolition of the Commons in April 2013. The third and final phase of the project will start in the spring/Photo by Pete Blanchard

The revamp of the Ithaca Commons is going to cost more than Ithaca city officials had hoped for.

A committee of Ithaca city lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to add up to $3.8 million to the project.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and project manager Michael Kuo told the committee that the city only received one bid for the third phase of the project, and it came back $4 million over budget.

Alderperson Seph Murtagh chairs the city’s planning and economic development committee. He said committee members had concerns about the amount of money being allocated, but that they want the project to be completed before the holiday season.

“There is a bit of urgency to the situation because if we were to delay this too much, it delays completion of the Commons project, which could run into the holiday season,”Murtagh said. “That’s a big concern for a lot of merchants and businesses downtown.”

As a cost-saving measure, project managers also eliminated the water fountain feature that was part of the original design

The 3.8 million dollar funding increase will be voted on by a full body of city lawmakers on Wednesday.

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