PENINSULA - Plans are moving forward for the first phase of constructing new Pacific County buildings on the Peninsula.

Pacific County Commissioner Jon Kaino said last week that initial plans will include two buildings, one housing criminal justice, the Pacific County Sheriff's Office and South Pacific County District Court; the second will include offices for the county's Department of Community Development, the health department and the licensing/auditor's office as well as space for the treasurer and assessor and a meeting room. A courtyard will separate the two buildings, which will total about 20,000 square feet.

The buildings will be constructed on county-owned property on Sandridge Road, just north of the road to the transfer station.

Kaino said architect/builder Erik Fagerland has reviewed the cost estimates for the construction.

"We'll have to re-evaluate," Kaino said. "We hoped the cost would come in at around $3 million to $4 million but the numbers we looked at last week were in excess of that."

A workshop is scheduled to look at the estimates. Kaino said the cost of construction materials was a factor in the high-end estimates. "Costs for materials have gone up a lot in the past year," he said.

Future plans for the site will include possibly moving the county's public works department there, "optimistically, in five to 10 years," Kaino said. "We're making plans on how to move forward. There are no decisions yet. We have to consider before we move on so we won't financially mortgage the future of the county. We want to do the right thing and will be moving forward with something, somehow."

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