Lee County Justice Center renovation project moving forward

Lee County Justice Center renovation project moving forward

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Monday, the Lee County Commission took the next step in the Lee County Justice Center renovation project.

Financing was the topic of the meeting.

Several financial institutions have placed bids to become the project underwriter.

"We plan on moving forward with the project based on those bid numbers, but also one of the things we have to at this time is look at the financing of it especially when you have a project of this size and we look at how we are going to finance it as far as borrowing money for it and the idea is you try to get the lowest borrowing cost you possibly can," explains County Administrator, Roger Rendleman.

Commissioners awarded The Frazer Lanier Company underwriting duties.

Even though they were the highest proposal by nearly $11,000, their familiarity with Lee County and preparation time won over the commission.

"The commission needed to make a decision and take in multiple factors, not just who gave you the best rate, but who does the commission feel most comfortable with trying to sell these bonds and get the lowest rates that they can get," says Rendleman.

The renovations to the 40,000 square foot building has been years in the making, but was halted after a down turn in the economy in 2011.

The $7.3 million project includes the expansion of the District Attorney's office, remodeling of the Circuit Clerk's office and improvements in technology throughout the building.

The County Commission hopes to award a contractor's bid to begin construction at its next meeting.

"Hopefully everything will be settled, we'll have financing that we'll be working on getting in place, the contractor will be awarded, we'll be getting the contacts and documents together and within probably a month and a half we'll be seeing some construction out there," explains Rendleman.

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