The Buzz

Dimes and crimes

Updated: 2013-07-15T17:51:56Z

By DAVE HELLING

What is it about police department construction projects?

The new crime lab at 27th and Prospect is way over budget already, city officials say.

It isn’t the first time.

In 2002 police officials asked voted for the cash to build a new police training academy north of the river. The cost estimate: $19.4 million.

When the academy opened about five years later, the construction cost had ballooned to nearly $30 million, according to stories at the time.

(UPDATE: Police documents suggest the actual final cost for the academy was closer to $ 40 million, or double the original estimate.)

In both cases, the culprit appears similar — drastically low cost estimates during the campaign for the taxes to pay for the structure, then “adjustments” once the tax revenue starts flowing in.

It isn’t clear if any major department construction project has come in under budget within the last 20 years.

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