Central booking relocation could cost much more than initially thought

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

If York County wants to move Central Booking to York County Prison, it's going to cost much more than anticipated.

The commissioners will consider approving four contracts relating to the proposed move to the prison, adding up to more than $5.7 million, at their meeting Wednesday .

While the cost is much higher than the anticipated $3.3 million that had been outlined earlier, county engineer John Klinedinst said that was mainly due to the high cost of contracting and supply chain issues.

"The scope changed a little bit in the design area, but it's mostly just an increase in the cost of bidding where supply chain is a problem and the number of contractors is still a problem," Klinedinst said Tuesday.

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Klinedinst said the changes to the project from the design phase included expanding an office area and adding other projects, including building a women's locker room and expanding an armory.

"Every time you go from a study where you're just looking at 'Is there enough square footage' and 'What are the estimated costs per square foot of renovating that' to getting into the design, you find things that you didn't know," Klinedinst said.

An example of that, Klinedinst said, was relocating storm sewer and water lines because the project would add a garage.

If approved, the contracts are as follows:

  • East Coast Contracting Inc. of New Cumberland will receive $3.44 million for general construction.
  • DM Electric of York will receive $721,000 for electrical construction.
  • Frey Lutz of Lancaster will receive $959,500 for HVAC construction.
  • Jay R. Reynolds of Willow Street, Lancaster County, will receive $646,900 for plumbing construction.

Reached Tuesday, Commissioner Doug Hoke said he wanted to get an explanation from Klinedinst.

"I got it, I read it and I'm going to ask John tomorrow to explain," Hoke said Tuesday. "I'm not going to say no, but I'm certainly open to it but just want to hear the explanation about the cost."

Commissioner Ron Smith said he still supports the move.

"At the end of the day, I'm very comfortable with it," Smith said Tuesday. "It's going to put law enforcement back on the street, and that's one of the driving forces behind why Central Booking is getting moved to the prison."

Reached Tuesday, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said she continues to support the project.

Proponents have said moving Central Booking from its current location in the York County Judicial Center in York City to the prison in Springettsbury Township will help save time and money. Currently, if someone who's arrested has a medical issue, they must be transported to a hospital and cleared before they can be booked, which can take hours and cause the arresting officer to have to stay with them. If Central Booking is relocated to the prison, that medical examination can happen on site.

Klinedinst said in the original study, there was a warning about the volatility of bidding and costs.

"We were hoping it had started to stabilize, but it didn't," Klinedinst said. "It's a substantial increase, but it's still a valid project," Klinedinst said.

All four contracts are integral to the Central Booking contract and must be approved together, Klinedinst said.

The York County Board of Commissioners meets at 10 a.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the York County Administrative Center, 28 East Market St., York. To watch the meeting online, visit the commissioners' YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/@yorkcountypa1749_Commissioners/streams.