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New courthouse’s price tag jolts County Council

September 25, 2013 J

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Council reacted with collective sticker shock Monday after hearing the latest cost estimates for a new county courthouse.

Instead of the $75 million under discussion for a year, they’re now hearing estimates that exceed that figure by up to $80 million.

Deputy Executive Mark Ericks cautioned that it won’t be possible to pin down more precise numbers until the council decides on where to build the new courthouse.

“There wasn’t then, nor is there now, a $75 million option that will satisfy our needs,” Ericks told a council committee on Monday afternoon.

Ericks said he believed the low-ball estimate, developed during the watch of previous county executive Aaron Reardon, was “a matter of having unrealistic expectations or wishful expectations,” not of deliberate deception.

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