Frugal Murray Constructs New City Hall and Cell Tower

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A project planned for well over a year, the new Murray, UT city hall and cell tower are now underway. According to MurrayJournal.com, the city saved millions in construction costs when it bought materials early and stockpiled them. According to a cost analysis conducted by project manager, Layton Construction, getting the jump on post-COVID inflation saved the city approximately $2.5 million,

However, the Journal also shook a stick at American Tower, claiming that delays on the towerco’s side were costly. “The estimated cost impact is approximately $506,000,” said Murray City Chief Administrative Officer, Doug Hill, of the extra time needed to complete that part of the overall project.  

“The city did not control the schedule for the demolition of the cell tower,” said Hill. “Working in good faith with American Tower Corporation (ATC), the city believed the cell tower would be demolished in January 2021. Because ATC negotiated with the city in good faith, the city did not believe eminent domain was necessary.”

While the city’s plan foresaw the removal of the old cell tower occurring in January of 2021, it also okayed the commencement of city hall construction before tower plans were finalized. Hill told the source that Murray City made the decision to begin construction early in October 2020. He said that the city was aware that it was taking a risk by taking action before cell tower plans were secured, but the opportunity to save money and come in under budget was compelling.

“Approximately $800,000 was spent on building a new cell tower, moving the equipment, demolishing the existing tower, and purchasing the land where the old cell tower was located,” Hill told the MurrayJournal.com. “The cell tower delayed the construction-critical path for city hall from October 21, 2020 through August 11, 2021. The estimated cost impact is approximately $506,000.”

Even with the added cost from the delayed cell tower timeline, Murray met its overall goal of spending its money wisely. The bond for the project was $34 million. Layton Construction was given a budget of $28 million. Despite adjustments along the way, Murray, UT will still end up with a new cell tower, a new city hall, and a few dollars left in its pocket. 

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