Hamilton County commissioners got some good news Thursday as bids to build the new crime lab came in for less than expected.
"Our engineer's estimate was somewhere between $37-38 million," says County Administrator Jeff Aluotto. "The apparent low bidder on the project at this point is slightly under that."
Two companies are bidding for the job: Monarch Construction Company and D.A.G. Construction Co. Inc. Monarch is the current low bidder at $36,878,000 to D.A.G.'s $38,300,000
Aluotto says analysis is needed to see if there's anything the county chose not to include in the bid that it may want to add back into the project.
"They're not things that are essential to the crime lab today but could be down the road, so there might be some things we want to put back in so it doesn't cost us more down the road," he says.
He'll make a formal presentation to county commissioners in the next month, which is also when they're expected to make a decision.
The county issued bonds last year to fund the new facility, which will be built in Blue Ash on property the county procured near Summit Park. Site-clearing work is already underway.
"Frankly, we have outgrown the facilities that we have right now," Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said at the 2017 groundbreaking. "We have new technologies that never existed four years ago when that building was built. That building houses more than double the people that it was meant to house right now. It was time. It was really time."