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The county council has some big decisions to make in the coming year, with long-lasting consequences for the future of Los Alamos County. Council will be allocating tens of millions of dollars on capital improvement projects for the county this year, from the Judicial Complex to Airport Basin, and along the way it will be refining the whole process used to allocate funds.Debate in council has centered on how best to improve the capital improvement project process, so that councilors will not be blindsided by escalating costs. At the Dec. 18, meeting, Councilor Nona Bowman suggested a motion asking that councilors know what their budget is before being asked to decide on how to spend capital. At the six-month strategic planning session, a new process for developing costs on projects showed that council would not see the cost of a project until the scope and design were known.In the coming year, council will be asked to look at projects from both perspectives, and with many variable elements in the equation.Beginning with the Judicial Police/Jail Complex, projected to cost at least $12 million, council will have some large and expensive capital improvements in the coming year.
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